Some previously ineligible Ohio employers will soon be receiving dividends from Ohio BWC totaling 372.46% of their 2019 policy year premiums. Gov. Mike DeWine made a request to BWC’s board of directors to distribute dividends to roughly 3,000 policyholders who had not initially met the eligibility requirement of completing their True Up in a timely fashion. BWC announced on September 24 that their board had moved to approve this measure, releasing another $30 million in funds to be divided amongst these remaining employers.
Historically, when BWC has announced a dividend – a policy must be current and in good standing to receive their portion, which includes having completed their “True Up” process prior to the August 15 deadline each year.
Businesses that fall under this eligibility expansion will be contacted directly by BWC regarding the dividend. Remember that any current premium balance due will be deducted from the dividend amount before the check is issued.
BWC has issued over $9 billion in dividends to Ohio employers since 2019.
Back in August, we told you that Ohio BWC wouldn’t be paying Group Retrospective refunds to employers who participated in Retro during the 2018 and 2019 policy years. For the past 12 years, many businesses have counted on those checks to budget for the coming year. Normally, Retro refunds would have showed up last month (October), but this time those employers were left empty-handed. Companies that were anticipating tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands, in some cases) in Retro Refunds are now faced with an end of year shortfall and difficulty budgeting. Our actuarial department estimates that Group Retro refund totals for all participating policyholders during the 2018 and 2019 policy years would have been as follows: • $190,000,000 for the 2018 policy year • $155,000,000 for the 2019 policy year That’s $345 Million in refunds not being paid back! If you are concerned with how the state is managing your premium dollars - and more importantly, your refunds - you have options. Self-insuring is one option, or you can look into a partnership with SuretyHR through our Self-Insured PEO program. This provides a lot of the same savings and benefits of self-insuring for workers’ comp, but without the risk and financial burden of directly paying excess
On October 14, BWC will host an open forum with TPAs to discuss the impact of their new reserve system called ACES. Spooner’s goal is to convince BWC that this system is overestimating reserves for lost time claims (as well as some medical only claims) that will have a dramatic effect on Group Retro refunds for the 2020 policy year and future years. This could also have a negative impact on employers’ EMRs for the 2023 policy year. BWC implemented this new system of calculating reserves in January 2021. As early as June, we began noticing reserves jumping to nearly 4-5 times what they would have been under the previous system and industry standard, MIRA II. We shared another update in August, after reviewing the first round of results for 2020 Group Retro and finding that 68% of pools could face a first year assessment, as opposed to getting a refund from the program. These open forums held by BWC are a platform for TPAs to voice concerns over certain policy and procedure changes that may negatively impact Ohio businesses. Spooner is an Ohio business, and our family of companies make it a priority to fight for policy changes that will have a positive impact on the business community that we’re so proud to be a part
One question that our safety team gets across nearly all industries is, “Am I required to have my employees certified to perform first aid and CPR?” OSHA requires that in the absence of an infirmary, clinic, or hospital within near proximity to the workplace – one or more staff members should be adequately trained to provide first aid. While the standards do not specify exactly how close by, OSHA has long interpreted the term "near proximity" to mean that emergency care must be available within no more than 3-4 minutes from the workplace. One option these standards provide employers is to ensure that a member of the workforce has been trained in first aid. This option is a feasible and low-cost way to protect employees, as well as putting the employer clearly in compliance with the standards. OSHA recommends that every workplace include one or more employees who are trained and certified in first aid, including CPR. While AED training is not specifically addressed or required by the standard, including that in your CPR training is recommended. The team at Spooner Safety will now be offering first aid and CPR training to businesses that would like to certify members of their team as either a requirement or best practice. Please contact Jeremy Smith at 440-249-5696 | Ext: 154 for more