For immediate release: February 22, 2012
BWC introduces common-sense rules to accelerate reforms of its self-insured department
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors heard a presentation today on a series of law and rule changes designed
to provide greater simplicity and flexibility for Ohio's self-insuring employers. The presentation included a summary of work within BWC to modernize
the self-insured program and improve service to self-insuring employers.
"Ongoing reform within our self-insured department has improved customer service, and claims and policy management, for self-insuring employers," said
BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "We have also worked closely with the self-insured community to present this series of rule changes that will
provide them with greater flexibility and remove unnecessary burdens that could present a roadblock to success in Ohio."
BWC's Self-Insured Department supports the more than 1,200 self-insured businesses that employ nearly two million Ohio employees. These employers
administer their own workers' compensation programs and pay benefits directly to their injured workers.
The department presented to the board today several proposals that will provide more flexibility to self-insured employers. Among them are these rule
changes impacting assessments BWC collects to fund administrative costs and the Self-Insured Employer Guaranty Fund (SIEGF), established to pay claims of
self-insuring employers that have defaulted. The proposed changes would:
The department also noted the results of work to improve customer service, productivity and overall business performance. These efforts include ensuring
BWC is collecting appropriate securities and more effectively managing defaulted claims, which resulted in a 24% decline in the SIEGF assessment
in 2012. The department has also:
- Allow self-insured employers in good standing to submit multiple forms security. All self-insured employers currently must provide a guarantee
from a parent company as protection in the event of a default. However, many self-insured employers prefer the option of submitting a letter of credit.
- End a long-standing policy that resulted in multiple assessments on employers with subsidiaries. For it's first three years, a self-insured entity must
pay an assessment based on a percentage of the premium paid in the year prior to becoming self-insured. The proposal would eliminate this assessment
that is currently applied with the addition of each new subsidiary to an existing self-insured policy.
"We applaud BWC's efforts to work with its business partners and improve the overall performance and efficiency of its self-insured operation.
Clearer financial requirements, a more robust auditing process, and better overall communication have made BWC's self-insured department an asset."br>
-Tony Seegers, Director of Labor and Human Resources Policy, Ohio Chamber of Commerce
- Reduced the average time it takes to renew a policy from 81 days after the employer's scheduled renewal date to 30 days prior to the renewal date;
- Reduced a backlog of policy renewals from 33 percent of all policies to less than one percent;
- Improved processing of applications by 44 percent to an average of 67 days; and
- Expedited response time to injured worker complaints by 33 percent.
"We have appreciated the opportunity to partner with the Ohio BWC to initiate and implement a series of rule and policy changes that will allow
more Ohio employers to consider self insurance."
-Denise K. Evans, Director of Workersâ€™ Compensation Claims, Staffmark
"The OSIA has appreciated the increased opportunity to work with the BWC on policy and rule changes which have resulted in improved financial
safeguards, a more meaningful auditing process, and in better overall communications. Having stakeholders as a part of the process helps self-insurance
remain an effective and efficient way to serve injured workers and creates an incentive for qualified employers to consider self-insuring.â€ť
-Robert (Buz) Minor, Executive Secretary, Ohio Self-Insurers Association
The next meeting of the BWC Board of Directors is scheduled for Friday, March 22, 2013.
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