Ohio: Board approves measure to allow employers more time to pay premiums
The board approved a rule change for the so-called 50/50 payment program, which enables businesses that pay online to split their yearly premiums into two payments. The change allows businesses to pay 50 percent of their premium costs by Feb. 28 and pay the remaining amount by June 1. Second payments were previously due by May 1. Officials said 17,000 employers participate in the program.
"We know that countless Ohio employers are under tremendous pressure to meet all of their financial obligations," said Marsha Ryan, BWC administrator. "Increased flexibility for employers in meeting their workers' compensation obligations will provide immediate relief."
Board approves changes for out-of-state work. The board also approved rule changes related to S. 334, which went into effect in September, and allows businesses to avoid paying premiums for work done in other states and jobs covered by another state's policy. Generally, the law also requires out-of-state employers, with employees working in Ohio, to provide workers' comp coverage for their employees when they come into Ohio to perform their duties.
As a result of the rule changes, officials said Ohio employers must report to the BWC the payroll reported to the other state's insurer. However, they are not required to pay BWC a premium on the other state's payroll. Ryan said the bureau will also now recognize the coverage of an out-of-state employer working in Ohio to the extent that state will honor the BWC coverage for Ohio employers temporarily working in their state. Out-of-state coverage will be honored for a period of up to 90 days.
Once employers notify the bureau of their others state coverage, Ryan said they can take advantage of this law change when they file their payroll report and pay their premiums for the Jan. 1 to June 30 payroll reporting period.
Bureau's investments strong, officials say. The BWC board also discussed the performance of the bureau's investment portfolio after recent challenges to the financial markets. Ryan said unaudited figures for all of the bureau's invested funds reflect a portfolio appreciation of 8.2 percent for the month of December 2008. As a result of strong performance of the bond portfolio, the BWC's entire investment portfolio has increased in value approximately 13 percent since the end of October.
"BWC's investment portfolio remains stable due to our conservative approach to managing recent turmoil in the markets," said Ryan. "Our board of directors has worked closely with BWC investment staff to maintain a strategy to hold investments for the long term and stay on course to protect our assets. Most importantly, we have maintained uninterrupted service to Ohio employers and injured workers throughout this market volatility."
January 26, 2009
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