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Category: Reserves

Disappointed with Your 2020 Group Retro Refund?

Disappointed with Your 2020 Group Retro Refund

Posted By Brandy King
November 07, 2022 Category: Group Retro, Ohio Bwc, ACES, Reserves, 2020 Group Retro, Group Retro Refunds

You’re not alone. Now that BWC is releasing the first Group Retro checks (and a few assessments) for  the 2020  policy year, many Ohio employers are underwhelmed by the results. In the earlier days of Group Retro, it wasn’t unheard of to see refunds over 50%. Spooner certainly had its heyday in the program, with some of our industry groups reaching close to the maximum return of 63%. In the last ten years, we’ve seen several factors begin to chip away at these big returns: increased loss development factors, fewer premium dollars in pools due to Premium Size Factor Reductions, and more recently – the move to a new reserve calculating system called ACES. The first two changes caused average returns to dip into the 40% ranges, but huge reserves from ACES delivered a sucker punch that left only five of the best performing groups with returns over 40%. Five of the hardest-hit pools will receive an assessment, which means paying back anywhere between 15-25% of their 2020 premiums to BWC. All other groups in the middle of the best and worst averaged returns of less than 24%. For some, that’s less than half of their historical performance average. We’ve been tracking the impact of ACES on Group Retro for a while now, and several TPAs (including Spooner) have voiced their concerns to BWC regarding the dwindling returns. While the complaints were taken under advisement, BWC chose to make such minor changes to the reserve calculations t

Group Retro Updates: 2018, 2019 & 2020

Posted By Brandy King
August 02, 2021 Category: Ohio Bwc, Group Retro, Group Retrospective Rating, ACES, MIRA, Reserves, Group Retro Assessment, 2018 Group Retro, 2019 Group Retro

We promised to keep you informed on the status of 2018 and 2019 policy year refunds from BWC’s Group Retro program.  As it stands, no employers enrolled during those years will be receiving any refunds. Typically, in the fall of 2021 Group Retro participants should be receiving your first refund from the 2019 policy year and your second refund from the 2018 year. It’s important to understand that if these refunds are normally included in your budgeting process for the coming year, you should not factor that in. For more info on why BWC chose not to release these funds, and what Spooner is doing to help Ohio employers, check out our June blog entry on these missing Group Retro Refunds. If your company was enrolled in Group Retro for the 2020 year, your first refund will be paid out in the fall of 2022.  Since the 2020 policy year recently ended, we also have an updated outlook on those returns. Out of the 45 total Private Employer Group Retro pools in Ohio, data from BWC shows that 31 of them will have an assessment for their first year (due in fall 2022). This means that companies in that pool will be billed by BWC for a portion of 2020 premiums instead of receiving a refund. This is largely due to BWC moving to a system called ACES to determine reserves on claims as of July 1, 2020. We believe BWC is open to discussing changes to some of the variables used to calculate refunds in response to the impact ACES is having on 2020 Group Retro

Changes in Reserve Calculations

Posted By Brandy King
April 01, 2021 Category: Ohio BWC, Reserves, Claims Costs, Group Retro, ACES, MIRA, Reserves

Effective July 1, 2020, Ohio BWC implemented a new reserve system called ACES.  Based on a large sampling of claims, we’ve found that this system can drastically increase reserves for future claims costs - which will then impact premiums and Group Retro performance. A reserve is a dollar amount placed on every claim, in which the insurer (BWC) “reserves” assumed future costs within the claim. The concept of a reserve is considered standard practice in workers’ compensation insurance, even for self-insured employers. Once a reserve is set, it will not leave the claim until the claimant has ceased medical treatment for at least six (6) months. The only other way to eliminate a reserve is through the process of a settlement. If a claim has a reserve when Ohio BWC’s September “snapshot” is taken - those reserves will be treated as dollars already spent on the claim, impacting premiums for the coming policy year. Lost time claims will see the largest impact, as medical reserves for 2019 were roughly four (4) times paid compensation and are now 19 times paid compensation.  This does not necessarily mean your company should consider salary continuation to soften the blow, as all claims have reserves. That should be discussed with your TPA on a case-by-case basis and not used as a remedy to avoid a lost-time claim with BWC. We are expecting these changes to have an impact on Group Retro refunds for the 2020 policy year a

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