OH Gov. Praises BWC Board

                               Columbus, OH (CompNewsNetwork) - Governor Ted Strickland today addressed the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors, thanking them and BWC Administrator Marsha Ryan for their service to Ohio's employers and injured workers. In the unscheduled visit, the Governor praised the Board for its role in bringing stability, fairness and better service to Ohio's workers' compensation system.

“I'm so proud of what's been accomplished under the leadership of this board and Administrator Ryan,” said Governor Strickland. “The people of Ohio should be very grateful to them for what they have accomplished. Everything they've been asked to do - to bring this organization to the very highest level - they have done. I just felt a need to come by this morning and acknowledge their service.”

The Governor also spoke about his intentions for BWC when he took office in January 2007. “The thing I wanted to happen more than anything else is for injured workers to be treated fairly and with respect. And that can only occur when this organization is operated in a professional way,” Strickland said. “The Ohio BWC is a big deal. A lot of people don't understand how massive it is or how many lives it touches. Businesses, injured workers and Ohio families are all affected by it.” He added, “You have succeeded in doing what I intended. This organization is de-politicized and is running as a well-run business with two goals; making sure injured workers are taken care of, and the assets of Ohio businesses are protected.”

BWC handles claims for 1.2 million injured workers each year and provides workers' compensation insurance protection for over 260,000 employers.

In addition, the Board met in Executive Session to reluctantly accept the resignation of Administrator Marsha Ryan, effective Jan. 9, 2011. Ryan was appointed by Governor Strickland and has served as BWC's administrator since May 2007.

In regular business, the Board of Directors was provided with details of how the agency plans to implement the nationally-recognized, split-experience rating plan in mid 2011. They were presented with details of the program during an education session by Chief Actuarial Officer John Pedrick. The “split plan” rating method is seen as a national standard, and used in 38 states. The plan places more emphasis on claim frequency rather than claim severity when assessing an employer's risk – or experience - which plays a significant role in the employer's premium rates. The Board is considering a timeline that will put the split-plan in place beginning July 1, 2011, for a “beta year” trial to determine how rates will be impacted, with full implementation scheduled for July 1, 2012.

The Board also approved base rates and expected loss rates for Public Employer Taxing Districts (PEC) in support of its October 2010 vote to decrease overall premium for PECs by 5.5 percent. These rates will take effect for public employers on Jan. 1, 2011.

The next meeting of the BWC Board of Directors will be held Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010 at 8 a.m. in Room 3, Level 2 of the William Green Building, located at 30 W. Spring St., Columbus. 

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