Ohio: Deductible program aimed at helping employers better manage costs
The board of directors for the state's Bureau of Workers' Compensation approved a deductible program that will give employers better control of their workers' comp spending and provide an incentive to promote workplace safety programs and services.
"This is the first time Ohio employers will have the option to enroll in a true deductible program," said Marsha Ryan, administrator of the BWC. "This new program offers multiple deductible levels, giving Ohio employers a choice in securing the option that best suits their business needs."
Under the deductible program, an employer would agree to pay the portion of a claim that falls below the deductible level. For taking on this degree of risk, the employer would receive a premium discount. The program will offer five deductible levels -- from $500 per claim to $10,000 per claim. Additional deductible levels and structures will be considered. Ryan said the program will be available to employers beginning July 1, 2009.
Changes will ensure compliance. The BWC board also approved rule changes that will give the bureau more authority to ensure sponsoring associations comply with the statutes and rules governing the state's group rating program. The changes will require greater disclosure from group sponsors; mandate that all sponsors reapply for certification before becoming eligible to sponsor groups for group retrospective rating beginning July 1 and/or group rating beginning July 1, 2010; and institute a recertification process to ensure all group sponsors are evaluated by the BWC on a regular basis.
The board asked that the bureau continue its efforts toward ensuring an actuarially sound rate system that will provide greater equity between the amount group-rated and nongroup-rated employers pay in workers' comp premiums. Staff members were also asked to continue to solicit input from these employer groups and present a modified plan that does not include elimination of the drug-free workplace and safety council discount programs.
March 30, 2009
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