Even though the 2021 BWC policy year won’t start until next month (7/1/21), we’re already getting out quotes for 2022 Group Rating and Group Retro programs. It can be hard to feel like a savvy buyer when it comes to workers’ comp in Ohio, but Spooner would like to share some pointers for how to understand the timeline and choose the best partner.
If you’re thinking of changing your partner for Group Rating or Group Retro, be sure not to complete the renewal that your current TPA sends this summer. Most employers don’t realize that signing a form and cutting a check in June 2021 will obligate them to stay with their current TPA through June of 2023. Make sure your accounting team is aware of this, too. We’ve seen too many unhappy customers of other TPAs get trapped this way.
Are you under the impression that because you’re a member of XYZ Chamber of Commerce, you have to utilize their partner for workers’ comp programs? Not the case! The sponsoring organization frames it that way because there’s money on the table. For example, if you are a XYZ Chamber member (who is partnered with Sedgwick) and you want to leave Sedgwick, XYZ Chamber makes less money. Naturally, they want you to stay with Sedgwick and may even advise you can’t get that discount outside of their partnership. This is patently false. Most TPAs have access to all of the same Group Rating and Group Retro programs for all industries, and the sponsoring organization (like a chamber or trade association) is irrelevant.
Shop around! Just be careful not to boil it all down to dollars to make your decision. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it – right? When was the last time you checked to make sure it’s not broken? Are you sure you’re getting the most for your money if you don’t know what else is out there? Discount rates and fees are important, but they’re not a measure of a true partner. In Ohio, TPAs holding the key to most discount programs leads employers to believe that savings via program enrollment is a TPA’s main objective. Program enrollment should be a fraction of their duties. Their focus should be on proactive claims and litigation management, followed closely by keeping clients educated. The Ohio businesses managing their own claims while paying a TPA to do so are a TPA’s favorite kind of clients. You do the work, they file some forms on your behalf, and they keep cashing your checks.
Isn’t Group Rating always the best option if your policy qualifies for it? Not necessarily, especially with the way certain calculations have changed over the last two years. If you’re auto-enrolled in Group Rating every year by your TPA, ask questions about what other programs might be more cost effective . Program selection is a year-to-year decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and your TPA should not be making that decision for you by simply not discussing other programs. If you’re unimpressed by Group Rating or Group Retro, maybe it’s time to look at alternatives like a PEO.
Is Spooner a TPA? On paper, sure. Do we consider other TPAs our competition? No. We work hard to be able to consider ourselves more than just a TPA, but more of a consulting firm. Our goal is not to file paperwork for a savings program and leave you to manage your claims. Spooner’s family of companies wants to put your business in the best possible position to succeed by being a true partner in your workers’ comp program. We’d love to provide an in-depth analysis of your workers’ comp policy and claims at no cost, along with quotes for all 2022 policy year programs. You can start that process by filling out a temporary authorization on our website, and one of our consultants will reach out to you the same day.