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For immediate release: October 17, 2014

Ohio's ranking improves in national workers' compensation
rate study

Ohio moved up 30 spaces in Oregon Study since 2008

COLUMBUS - Ohio is again being recognized nationally for improvement in its workers' compensation rates. The Oregon Premium Rate Ranking Study, a biennial review of workers' compensation rates that was released last week and is used by many as a national benchmark, ranked Ohio 17th lowest among all 50 states. Ohio ranked third highest in the nation as recently as 2008.

"We believed early on that one of the most productive steps we could take to support the success of Ohio employers was to keep their workers' comp rates low and stable," said Steve Buehrer, Administrator/CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC). "Ohio's continued ascension in this national study is another positive sign for Ohio's employers, and indication of our economic recovery and rise in competitiveness."

The Oregon study compares each state's base rates across a selection of 50 widely used classification codes that are assigned by occupation to indicate their degree of risk. Ohio ranked 28th in 2012, 17th in 2010, and 3rd in 2008. Ohio's base rate index in the 2014 study of $1.74 per $100 of payroll is below the national median of $1.85. Ohio's base rate index was $3.32 in 2008, when the national median was $2.26.

The 2014 study uses Ohio's private employer base rates effective July 1, 2013, however average rates are currently lower due to a 6.3% reduction effective July 1, 2014. While the study compares base rates, the average amount per $100 of payroll that BWC anticipates that it will collect from private employers across all classifications during the 2014/2015 policy period is projected to be $1.61. The collectible rate represents the amount BWC receives after applying experience modifications and discounts for participation in various BWC programs.

In total, average base rate reductions for Ohio private employers over the last four years brings the combined premium collections over the last four years down by $409 million. While not included in this study, Ohio local government employers have also seen overall rate reductions and are paying their lowest rates in 30 years.

The rankings, produced by the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services, are available here. The entire report will be released early next year.

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