"With this latest reduction, private employer base rates are at their lowest level in the last two decades," said Marsha Ryan, BWC administrator. "The lower rates being paid by the majority of Ohio's private employers are providing savings they can now invest in their operations, supporting future job growth and economic development in Ohio."
The BWC's actuarial staff urged the rate decrease, consistent with the recommendation of the bureau's actuarial consultant, Deloitte Consulting LLP. The change meets a requirement that the BWC establish rates at the lowest level possible in order to maintain a solvent State Insurance Fund. The average rate change will impact employers based on their manual classification, meaning that some employers will realize a rate reduction higher or lower than 3.9 percent.
The board also approved a 4.3 percent rate decrease for Ohio state agencies, universities and university hospitals. State agencies, which pay biweekly premiums, will also begin paying the new rate effective July 1. State universities and university hospitals pay quarterly premiums and will begin paying at the lower rate in October. The average rates vary among public employer state agencies and are based on the anticipated payments for the upcoming year. Agency rates are individually calculated. Ryan said some agencies could experience an increase and others a decrease based on their claim activity.
Rule change approved.
The board also adopted a rule change that, along with another rule modification, is intended to increase the speed with which injured workers receive treatment and compensation. In March, the board extended the time for a claim to be considered active from 13 to 24 months. Officials said this extension will allow injured workers to receive prompt treatment, and providers to immediately reinitiate appropriate treatment without unnecessary authorization requests. The new rule adopted modifies procedures for compensating an injured worker for amputation or loss of the use of a body part. The change will allow injured workers to receive the full amount of their award in one payment instead of in installments.
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June 17, 2010
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