Gov. Kasich and Ohio BWC propose $1.5 billion rebate for Ohio employers

Agency’s fourth rebate would bring work comp savings to $8 billion since 2011

Gov. John R. Kasich and the top executive for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) on Tuesday proposed giving Ohio employers $1.5 billion in premium rebates this summer, expanding workers’ comp savings for employers to $8 billion since 2011.

“We’ve had healthy income and returns on our investment portfolio, and it’s only right to share that success with our private and public employers,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison, standing with Kasich at the Land-Grant Brewing Co. in downtown Columbus. “We know that the more money we leave with employers, the more they can invest in their employees and grow their business.”

Added Kasich: “This is another example of how Ohio is using every tool in the box to make our environment for job creation one of the best in the nation, and our workers’ compensation system has been a great partner in our efforts. We’re up 500,000 private sector jobs and these additional savings in workers’ compensation costs will continue to help our businesses grow and succeed.”

The rebate, BWC’s largest in 20 years, will be proposed to BWC’s Board of Directors Wednesday, April 25, and voted on at the board’s May 24 meeting. If approved, rebate checks would likely be mailed in July and August.

The proposed rebate equals 85 percent of the premiums paid for the policy year that ended June 30, 2017 (calendar year 2016 for public employers). It would follow $1 billion rebates issued in 2013, 2014 and 2017, as well as a $15 million rebate in 2016 for counties, cities and other public employers.

Of the $1.5 billion, an estimated $48 million would go to schools and $111 million would go to local government entities. That’s on top of $402 million in rebates those public taxing districts have received since 2013 ($125 million for schools, $277 million for others).

As with previous rebates, BWC is also exploring a significant investment in health and safety services, the details of which will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The $1.5 billion in rebates announced earlier today by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is welcomed news to small-business owners, who make up the majority of state fund employers,” said Roger Geiger, Vice President and Executive Director for NFIB/Ohio.

“On behalf of our 23,000 members, NFIB/Ohio concurs with the BWC’s position that the more money they can put in the hands of employers, the better the opportunities to grow their businesses, hire additional employees, and support health and safety programs in their companies. Small business owners are the engine that drives Ohio’s economy and will utilize these rebates to reinvest back into their businesses.

The $8 billion that the BWC has returned since 2011 is a sure sign of strong fiscal management and stewardship by Governor Kasich and Administrator Morrison, who continue to make Ohio’s workers’ compensation system even more efficient.”

More details on the rebate.

An overview of the $8 billion in workers’ comp savings since 2011.