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OhioBWC - Employer:  (Obtaining Self-Insurance)

  Obtaining self-insurance

Ohio law requires employers with one or more employees to obtain workers' compensation coverage or be granted the privilege of self-insurance for liabilities associated with work-related accidents or occupational diseases. Thus, employees are covered either through the Ohio State Insurance Fund or by a self-insuring employer. Employers may realize several benefits from self-insurance including:
  • Administration of your own workers' comp program;
  • The potential for claims cost savings.
Qualifying for self-insurance
To qualify for self-insurance, an employer must meet the following requirements.
  • Have a minimum of 500 employees within Ohio
  • Authorization from the Ohio Secretary of State to do business in this state
  • Two years experience with the Ohio State Insurance Fund
  • Demonstrate strong financial stability
  • Possess the ability to administer a self-insured program
  • Maintain an account with a financial institution in Ohio, or draw compensation checks from the same account as the payroll checks
  • Have a BWC-certified Qualified Health Plan (QHP) or medical-management plan
Applying for self-insurance
To apply for self-insurance in Ohio an applicant must complete the following forms.
Initial Application by Employers for Authority to Pay Compensation Etc. Directly (SI-6) View/Print
Contract of Guaranty (SI-38) View/Print
Election to Withdraw from Claims Reimbursement Fund (SI-44) View/Print
Agreement Between Employer and the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Regarding Amount of Self-Insured Buyout (SI-16) View/Print
Permanent Authorization (AC-2) View/Print
Supporting documentation
In addition to the forms above, an applicant for self-insurance must submit:
  • Five years of certified financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). This includes a balance sheet, a profit and loss statement, auditor’s opinion and all footnotes;
  • A current organizational table showing all entities associated with the self-insurance applicant;
  • The name, contact information and qualifications for the individual that will act as the Ohio workers’ compensation administrator;
  • Organizational plan for the administration of the workers' comp law;
  • Proposed plan to inform employees of the change from a state-fund insurer and procedures employees must follow when filing for compensation and benefits;
  • Secretary of State papers providing proof of registration to do business in Ohio;
  • Information on your company’s risk- and claims-management procedures to establish a safe and more cost-effective workplace, including:

    1. Active senior management leadership;
    2. Employee involvement;
    3. Return-to-work practices;
    4. Communications affecting employee safety and health;
    5. Claims reporting practices;
    6. Coordination of safety and health practices;
    7. Training;
    8. Written and communicated safe work practices;
    9. Written safety and health policy;
    10. Record keeping.

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 4123.35 (B) (2), the BWC must also verify that a public employer satisfies the following financial requirements. In addition to the above documentation, a public employer must respond to the following questions as part of the application process:

  1. What was the public employer’s bond rating as of the most recent fiscal year end?
  2. Has the public employer complied with all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosures for the last five years?
  3. Has the public employer had any local government fund distributions withheld in the last five years?
  4. Has the public employer been placed on fiscal watch or emergency in the last five years?
  5. What were the unvoted debt capacities for the public employer for the two most recent fiscal years?
Applicants must submit completed applications and supporting documentation 90 days in advance of the desired effective date of self-insurance. Mail completed applications and supporting documentation to:

Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation
Self-Insured Department 
30 West Spring St., 22nd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-2256

Approval process
Upon receipt of a complete application, BWC will underwrite all application documents and financial information. BWC will issue a written decision granting or denying self-insurance within 90 days. If the applicant disagrees with this decision, the applicant may submit an appeal within 14 days to the Self-Insured Review Panel.

If approved for self-insurance, BWC will schedule the employer for a self-insurance orientation session. This session will further explain the self-insurance process, procedures and administrative requirements.