News and Updates

Category: General

OSHA Publishes New Final Rule on Injury Tracking and Data Submission

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

Read the full publication here, including all NAICS industrty codes affected. On May 11th, OSHA published a new rule on Injury Tracking and Data Submission, which will require the majority of workplaces to start submitting their injury / illness data to OSHA on an annual basis. This site-specific data will then be published on the OSHA website by location. The following excerpt from the recent press release by OSHA explains the government thought process that went into creating this new rule. Since high injury rates are a sign of poor management, no employer wants to be seen publicly as operating a dangerous workplace, said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. Our new reporting requirements will nudge employers to prevent worker injuries and illnesses to demonstrate to investors, job seekers, customers and the public that they operate safe and well-managed facilities. Access to injury data will also help OSHA better target our compliance

Open Enrollment: How to select the MCO that’s right for your company

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) allows a biennial open enrollment period for Managed Care Organizations (MCO). This year open enrollment falls between May 2 and May 27. Open enrollment is very short and companies have many factors to consider. The decision employers make now to stay with their current MCO or change to a new MCO will impact them for the next two years. Companies must recognize that when theyre making this decision, to stay with their current MCO or change to a new MCO, its crucial to choose wisely, says Joe Spooner, vice president at Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Smart Business spoke with Spooner about open enrollment and the factors to consider when choosing an MCO. Employers cannot interview prospective MCOs before the open enrollment period, so its advisable to do research beforehand. Then, when employers are free to interview MCOs, they can ask carefully considered questions because there is limited time. A hasty choice or choosing not to look

Open Enrollment: How to select the MCO that’s right for your company

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) allows a biennial open enrollment period for Managed Care Organizations (MCO). This year open enrollment falls between May 2 and May 27. Open enrollment is very short and companies have many factors to consider. The decision employers make now to stay with their current MCO or change to a new MCO will impact them for the next two years. Companies must recognize that when theyre making this decision, to stay with their current MCO or change to a new MCO, its crucial to choose wisely, says Joe Spooner, vice president at Spooner Medical Administrators, Inc. Smart Business spoke with Spooner about open enrollment and the factors to consider when choosing an MCO. Employers cannot interview prospective MCOs before the open enrollment period, so its advisable to do research beforehand. Then, when employers are free to interview MCOs, they can ask carefully considered questions because there is limited time. A hasty choice or choosing not to look

Prospective Billing True-Up Report for Private Employers in the State Fund

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

There are a few important updates Spooner Inc. wanted everyone to be aware of as we move into the 2016 premium policy year and get ready for the first True-Up reporting. MAY 1st The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) will mail out your estimated premium for the 2016 policy year on May 1st. They have updated their website to reflect these numbers and you are now able to review the information. Please keep a copy of this letter with due dates. There were many issues with the installment schedules last policy year as the BWC sent invoices that did not reflect the actual due dates. MAY 16th If you would like to change the frequency of your premium installments, please contact the BWC no later than May 16th. Under the employer tab on the website of the BWC, there is a listing for Premium Installment Schedule. There, and you can change your schedule of installments. You can change the frequency to annual, semiannual, quarterly, bimonthly, or monthly. The first installment for the 2016

OSHA Violations Will Carry Higher Fines in 2016: Are You Willing to Roll the Dice on Whether or Not Your Company is OSHA Compliant?

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

Contact Spooner Incorporated Today to Keep Your Company Out of OSHAs Crosshairs in 2016! A new law gives the federal government the power to impose harsher fines on businesses that violate workplace safety laws, but the financial impact wont be known until next summer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be able to increase the penalties it imposes the first increase of its kind in many years because of a provision that was included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The Republican-controlled Congress approved the two-year budget bill in the waning days of October, just before the federal fiscal year ended. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, signed the legislation Nov. 2. The Obama administration has argued for the past several years that one of the biggest obstacles to OSHAs enforcement of workplace safety laws is the low level of civil penalties that are allowed. The civil penalties were limited to $7,000 for serious violations, such as hazards that could

The Group Rating Deadline for Ohio Workers' Comp is Right Around the Corner (November 23, 2015)

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

Another workers compensation program selection season is upon us. Join the thousands of employers guided each year by Spooners workers comp savings, service, and results. Friends don let friends pay full price for workers compensation. When was the last time you took a look at what you were paying the BWC? Let Spooner provide you with a no-cost, no-commitment review to ensure your company is getting the best available rates and service. Enrollment deadlines for other BWC savings programs are also right around the corner. Dont kick the can down the road to 2016, let Spooner show you the path to savings for years to come.

Supreme Court Upholds Tax Subsidy Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

A 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court on Thursday saved the Affordable Care Act by upholding federal tax credits for eligible Americans. The court was asked to decide whether the federal government should be allowed to pay subsidies to individuals living in states (like Ohio) that opted out of having their own state health insurance exchanges. The subsidies are a vital part of the Affordable Care Act and without the subsidies millions of Americans would have been unable to pay for their government mandated health insurance. Check out our Employee Benefits Services page, or contact Spooner for more information about the ACA and how we can help you navigate the new insurance requirements.

Supreme Court Upholds Tax Subsidy Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

A 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court on Thursday saved the Affordable Care Act by upholding federal tax credits for eligible Americans. The court was asked to decide whether the federal government should be allowed to pay subsidies to individuals living in states (like Ohio) that opted out of having their own state health insurance exchanges. The subsidies are a vital part of the Affordable Care Act and without the subsidies millions of Americans would have been unable to pay for their government mandated health insurance. Check out our Employee Benefits Services page, or contact Spooner for more information about the ACA and how we can help you navigate the new insurance requirements.

Moving On Up

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

Were happy to announce a number of promotions here at Spooner Inc. We wanted to take a moment to recognize the achievements of the following members of our management team: Bruce Bunn has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Workers Compensation. Nathan Kenney has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Jennifer Kenney has been promoted to Manager, Client Services. Ryan Callahan has been promoted to Director of Workers Compensation. Andy Lembach has been promoted to Chief Marketing Officer.

Workers' compensation plays a major role in M&A deals, though few realize it

By Nathan Kenney
October 23, 2016 Category • General

There are many factors that go into determining the value of a company. Many buyers and sellers dont realize, however, that an MA deals value changes based on existing workers compensation claims, coverage history and program status. Successors must look closely at the company theyre acquiring, says Nathan Kenney, Chief Operating Officer at Spooner, Inc. When you combine two entities, everyones situation can get worse. If you dont take workers compensation into account when doing a deal, youll pay more than the value the acquired company brings to the deal in the long run. Smart Business spoke with Kenney about the effect workers compensation liabilities have on an MA event and how a correct value can be assessed. How are the parties in an MA deal affected by workers compensation liabilities? When an MA deal is executed the predecessor company is no longer responsible for its workers compensation liabilities they transfer to the successor company at the date of the close with all

Don't Forget! Payroll Reporting and Premiums

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

Please dont forget to report your payroll and pay your premium for the 2nd half of 2014 (July 1 to December 31, 2014).

Ohio BWC Safety Congress and Expo

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

The 2015 Ohio BWC Safety Congress Expo will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center from March 31 to April 2, 2015. Spooner Risk Control Services will be represented by Spooner Inc. and Spooner Medical Administrators Inc. in booths 921 and 923 on the expo floor. Please consider attending the educational sessions and stop by our booths! We are also excited to announce that Rick Artino from Spooner will be featured as an expert speaker at an educational session this year. Rick will be presenting session 485 titled Responding to Fatal Accidents and Deaths in the Workplace from 2:30pm to 3:30pm on April 1st. Attending Ricks session will provide credits for anyone needing continuing education (0.1 IACET CEU; 1 CDMS; 1 HR; 1 EPA; 1 BELTSS; 1 SAN). To register for Ricks presentation or to check out the other presentations at the safety congress, please check out this link.

OSHA "10-Hour Card" Training Sessions by Spooner

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

The safety team at Spooner will be hosting OSHA 10hr Training sessions throughout Ohio in November and December. The training sessions will provide leadership, management, and workers with a solid understanding of occupational safety and health standards. The sessions are great for those new to safety or who want to refresh their safety training knowledge. Upon completion of the course, participants will be issued OSHA 10 Hour Cards which are both recognized and encouraged by regulatory agencies. The cost to attend the 2 day courses is $199. You can check training session times and dates and register online here. Reminder: The OSHA 10hr course will also satisfy the 2hr safety requirement for companies participating in group rating and group retrospective rating in the 2014 policy year. Spooner will schedule 2hr safety training sessions for the 2014 policy year in the spring of 2015 but the OSHA 10hr course is an opportunity to satisfy the 2hr requirement sooner rather than later.

URGENT: The Filing Deadline for a Share of the BWC Settlement is October 22nd

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

Time is running out for employers to claim their share of the $420 million BWC settlement. Eligible employers have until October 22nd to file. If an eligible employer does not file for their share of the reimbursement, the money will be forfeited back to the BWC. A Columbus Dispatch article on Friday, October 17th reported that only 7% of the eligible employers have filed a claim for reimbursement. Please, Please, Please Do Not miss out on your opportunity to be reimbursed by the BWC. For more information, please visit the class action settlement website at ohiobwclawsuit.com. Any questions can be directed to 1-844-322-8230 as well as an online question form available on the website.

Group Rating and Group Retrospective Rating Accountability Letter

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

Please review this important safety accountability letter. The letter outlines the importance of workplace safety as a component of group rating and group retrospective rating. It also covers the expectations of the employer, sponsor organization, Spooner, and the BWC in collaborating to make sure that safety needs are met. Please contact Rick Artino at Spooner if you have any questions about the accountability letter or for anything and everything safety related!

Group Rating and Group Retrospective Rating Accountability Letter

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

Please review this important safety accountability letter. The letter outlines the importance of workplace safety as a component of group rating and group retrospective rating. It also covers the expectations of the employer, sponsor organization, Spooner, and the BWC in collaborating to make sure that safety needs are met. Please contact Rick Artino at Spooner if you have any questions about the accountability letter or for anything and everything safety related!

Combustible Dust Safety

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

Combustible dust is a safety concern for manufacturers around the world. Safety violations led to an explosion at a Chinese aluminum wheel factory on Sunday, August 3, 2014. The factory did no properly store dangerous goods, did not have appropriate ventilation to remove volatile dust, and had substandard electrical systems according to the Chinese government. Do you think there might be a potential hazard at your business but arent quite sure what to do about it? Please contact Rick Artino, CSP at Spooner Inc. today at (440) 249-55694 or rartino@spoonerinc.com.

Ohio BWC Agrees to Settle the Class Action Lawsuit for Overcharging Employers

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

The BWC agreed to settle the class action lawsuit that stemmed from the BWC overcharging premium to thousands of Ohio employers from 2001 to 2009. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the settlement agreement was reached last night (7/24/14). A $420 million fund will be created to pay employers that were overcharged and were part of the class action lawsuit. Judge Richard McMonagle of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court needs to approve the settlement and then the class members will be provided instructions for submitting claims. A third party administrator will be appointed to process the payments on behalf of the BWC in the ensuing months. If the claim calculations exceed $420 million, each member will receive a prorated share of the settlement fund ($420 million). The class members are finally in the home stretch of getting paid back after starting the lawsuit back in 2007.

Ohio BWC Agrees to Settle the Class Action Lawsuit for Overcharging Employers

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

The BWC agreed to settle the class action lawsuit that stemmed from the BWC overcharging premium to thousands of Ohio employers from 2001 to 2009. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the settlement agreement was reached last night (7/24/14). A $420 million fund will be created to pay employers that were overcharged and were part of the class action lawsuit. Judge Richard McMonagle of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court needs to approve the settlement and then the class members will be provided instructions for submitting claims. A third party administrator will be appointed to process the payments on behalf of the BWC in the ensuing months. If the claim calculations exceed $420 million, each member will receive a prorated share of the settlement fund ($420 million). The class members are finally in the home stretch of getting paid back after starting the lawsuit back in 2007.

The Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals Upholds the Decision to Force the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Refund Millions to Ohio Employers

By Admin
October 23, 2016 Category • General

The San Allen v. Ohio BWC class action lawsuit has been going on for years and a new chapter has been written following a decision by the Ohio 8th District Court. The lawsuit has been going on for years. It stems from the Ohio BWCs practice of allowing a group rating premium program that provided enormous discounts for qualifying employers and large penalty rates for those employers that didnt qualify for group rating. The penalty rated employers were fed up with paying more than they should for workers compensation to make up the difference in losses for those employers in group rating. The appellate court found that the Ohio BWC maintained an unlawful and inequitable rating system. The court also ordered Judge Richard McMonagle from the Cuyahoga County Pleas Court to provide a detailed account of the $859 million refund figure he came up with that the BWC must repay to about 264,000 employers. The battle has been going on for years in court and Spooner will continue to keep you posted

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