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For immediate release: April 24, 2015

Workers' comp billing change will bring payment flexibility for Ohio employers

New billing system effective July 1 for private employers

COLUMBUS - A revamped workers' compensation billing system will offer a number of new flexible payment options for Ohio employers. As part of its move to a new prospective billing system, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors today approved a plan to allow private employers to pay for their annual workers' compensation premiums in two, four, six or twelve installments. Under the new system, businesses will be billed prior to receiving coverage instead of the previous system of billing employers after they have received coverage.

"Prospective billing is not only the standard across the insurance industry, it will bring a number of benefits to Ohio employers, including the $1.2 billion in premiums BWC will pay on their behalf as we make the transition," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "We're pleased to offer more flexibility as part of our ongoing efforts to modernize our operations and provide the quality service that Ohio employers expect."

Businesses can expect to receive their first notice of estimated annual premium in early June for the 2015 policy year. Beginning July 1, businesses will pay an estimated premium for the upcoming coverage year and undergo a payroll "true-up" process after the policy year ends to ensure the proper premium was paid. As part of the previously announced $1.2 billion premium credit to ease transition costs for employers, BWC will pay businesses' previous six months coverage, or final payroll report, under the old system, as well as 1/6th of the policy year 2015 premium due. Therefore, their first payment under prospective billing won't be due until August 31.

In addition to payment flexibility, the switch to prospective billing is expected to provide a number of benefits to Ohio employers, including an overall base rate reduction of 2.4 percent for private employers and 4 percent for public employers and increased ability for BWC to detect employer non-compliance and fraud.

BWC continues to offer free prospective billing seminars across the state to provide details and answer questions about prospective billing. More information and a listing of seminar dates are available at bwc.ohio.gov.

Information on the move to prospective billing for public employers, which becomes effective January 1, 2016, is also available at bwc.ohio.gov.

The next meeting of the BWC Board of Directors is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2015.

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