Ohio BWC to give employers $1 billion in rebates

Columbus, OH – A nearly $2 billion proposal (.pdf file) recently announced by Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich (R) would give money back to Ohio employers in the form of workers’ compensation rebates, lower rates and worker safety grants.

The proposal includes $1 billion in rebates, which equals more than half of employers’ most recent annual premium, going directly to employers, according to a May 2 press release from the governor’s office. The proposal also includes tripling of the state’s safety and wellness grant program to $15 million and lowering workers’ comp rates 2-4 percent through a modernization of the payment system used by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

The announcement comes about one month after BWC appealed a court decision that ruled the bureau overcharged employers about $860 million and must pay back those funds.

A BWC spokesperson told Safety+Health magazine the rebates are unrelated to the lawsuit, and appeal and funding for the rebate is tied to growing net assets from better-than-expected investment returns. The governor’s proposal would not affect Ohio’s ability to repay employers if the state loses the appeal, as money has been reserved to cover that cost, the spokesperson said.

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