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OhioBWC - Employer - Service: Intent to join group - Grow Ohio - Information

Grow Ohio Incentive Program

What is the Grow Ohio Incentive Program?
We created the Grow Ohio Incentive Program to help spur job creation in the state by offering new employers* one of the following premium discount options.

  1. The opportunity to join a group-experience-rating program and receive a premium discount – potentially up to 53 percent – effective on their first day of coverage
  2. An automatic 25-percent discount on their workers’ compensation premiums

Whichever option you choose, your business can receive a significant discount on workers’ compensation costs at a critical time – while you are getting started.

The group-experience-rating option
Grow Ohio gives your business the option to apply for group rating immediately and, upon acceptance, receive a premium discount possibly up to 53 percent, which is the current maximum allowable group discount.

If you’re interested in joining a group:

  • Select a sponsoring organization to place you into their group-rating program. You can view a list of sponsoring organizations and their groups here.
  • Make sure you ask sponsoring organizations about any fees for group participation. Sponsoring organizations may charge employers for the additional services and information they provide.

Note to sponsoring organizations: You must notify BWC of the addition of a new employer to a group within 30 days after BWC finalizes that employer's initial application and assigns a policy number.

The 25-percent discount option
All eligible new employers will receive a 25-percent discount on their workers’ comp premiums unless they choose to participate in the group-experience-rating program or a BWC program that is not compatible** with Grow Ohio. Employers only paying the minimum administrative fee will NOT receive a discount.

For private employers, we’ll apply the 25-percent discount for the payroll period in which your coverage becomes effective and the next two consecutive policy years thereafter as long as your company maintains eligibility. That’s more than two years of discounted coverage! Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, for public employer taxing districts, we’ll apply the 25-percent discount for the partial year that coverage becomes active, and then the next two consecutive years.

Maintaining eligibility - safety requirements
To remain eligible for any Grow Ohio discounts, you must:

  1. Complete a safety survey and acknowledge you've read an introduction to our Division of Safety & Hygiene's offerings; or,
  2. Complete at least two hours of safety training offered by our Division of Safety & Hygiene. You may complete the course work at one of our training locations, the Ohio Safety Congress, or online through the BWC Learning Center. To view a list of safety courses, click here; or,
  3. Complete the Safety Management Self-Assessment (SH-26), click here.

Employers must complete any one of the three components before the end of the first full reporting period after acceptance into the program.

*For purposes of the program, BWC defines a new employer as a new business entity or an out-of-state business that creates one or more jobs in Ohio on or after July 1, 2011. The following are NOT eligible for the Grow Ohio Incentive Program: professional employer organizations (PEOs), self-insuring employers, and employers transferring experience. Clients of a PEO in a full lease will not receive the discount off the minimum administrative fee but will remain eligible for the discount should the PEO relationship be terminated during the eligible Grow Ohio period for the client employer.

** BWC programs not compatible with the Grow Ohio Incentive Program include: EM capping, group-experience rating, group-retrospective rating, Large Deductible, One-Claim Program, and individual-retrospective rating.

BWC will use a continuing eligibility evaluation date of April 1 and Oct. 1 to determine if an employer continues to be eligible for the Grow Ohio Incentive Program. An employer participating in Grow Ohio is eligible to continue its participation if, as of each continuing eligibility evaluation date, it holds active workers’ compensation coverage according to the following standards:

  1. The employer must be current with respect to all payments due BWC as defined in OAC 4123-17-14(A)(3);
  2. The employer must be current on the payment schedule of any part-pay agreement it entered into for payment of premiums or assessment obligations;
  3. Except as provided for in paragraphs (a) and (b) below, the employer must not have cumulative lapses in workers' compensation coverage in excess of 40 days within the prior 12 months.
    1. For the policy year commencing July 1, 2015, private employers must not have cumulative lapses in workers’ compensation coverage in excess of 40 days within the preceding nine months.
    2. For policy year commencing Jan. 1, 2016, public employer taxing districts must not have cumulative lapses in workers’ compensation coverage in excess of 40 days within the preceding nine months.

Related resources

Apply for coverage

Learn more about group-experience rating

View a list of group sponsors

View safety services offered by BWC

Ohio Administrative Code – Grow Ohio rule