Workers Compensation Facts

Here are some quick facts about Ohio’s workers’ compensation system: • The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has been in existence for 100 years. It was created when the foundation for the system was written in the Ohio Constitution during the 1912 Constitutional Convention. • Ohio is one of four remaining monopolistic states where there is no competition among providers. • The BWC serves 256,000 employers in Ohio. • The BWC collected $1.93 billion of employer premiums in 2011. • Ohio’s average premium is 110% of the national average: $2.24 per $100 of payroll in Ohio versus the national average of $2.04. • Ohio has improved from 3rd highest premiums to 17th highest premiums in the nation from 2008-2010. • Average medical expenses per active lost time claim have increased 45% from $25,479 in March of 2008 to $36,869 in December 2011.  Average indemnity expenses per active lost time claim have increased 40% from $39,820 to $55,706 over the same time period. • Eight years after a claim has been filed in Ohio, 48.9% of that claim has... ...

Read More →

$1 Billion to Employers from Ohio Workers’ Comp Fund

Ohio’s governor and the state workers’ compensation fund want to return $1 billion in dividends to Ohio businesses, bolster workplace safety initiatives, and modernize the way employers pay into the fund. A higher-than-expected return on investments is making possible the $1 billion dividend distribution that, if approved by the board of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, would be given back to employers in a June-July time frame, according to BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. Buehrer said the one-time dividend is one of the largest ever distributed by the BWC. It is part of a three-pronged package of proposals aimed at stimulating the state’s economy. Included in that package is the conversion of the workers’ comp system from a retrospective payment system to a prospective one, at which time Ohio employers would benefit from $900 million in premium credits. A tripling of the BWC’s planned investment in its safety education program — from $5 million to $15 million — is the third part of the proposal. All 210,000 customers of the... ...

Read More →

Ohio BWC to pay employers $860 million

A Cleveland court in San Allen Inc. v. Bureau of Workers Compensation, Cuyahoga Cty. Case No. CV-07-644950, recently held that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) must reimburse employers $860 million in premium overcharges from 2001 to 2009.  The BWC, of course, appealed the decision on April 16, 2013. The relevant case was originally filed in 2007 alleging that the discounted premiums that the BWC gave companies that joined group insurance plans were offered at the expense of companies that were not in these groups.  Ultimately, the trial court found in favor of the nearly 270,000 affected employers, agreeing that the BWC had overcharged in their premium payments from 2001-2009.  As such, the BWC has been ordered to pay $860 million in reimbursements. Unfortunately for employers, the BWC’s appeal suggests that speedy restitution payments are unlikely. The BWC, however, is facing increasing public pressure.  Specifically, class members have formed a coalition of Ohio companies called “Pay Us Back Ohio BWC.”  The organization’s website encourages employers to pressure the BWC to pay the... ...

Read More →

12 Workers’ Comp Fraud Convictions in April

Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) – Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer today announced 12 individuals were convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, charges related to defrauding Ohio’s workers’ compensation system in April. The court actions are the result of investigations conducted by BWC’s special investigations department (SID). The department works to deter, detect, investigate and prosecute workers’ compensation fraud. “Their pleas to charges against them indicate they knew their actions were wrong,” said Buehrer. “Ohio employers and workers surely know better than to exploit the system in place to protect those hurt on the job, but some of them will make an attempt regardless, and our dedicated team of investigators will be there to put an end to it.” A sampling of the cases that resulted in a guilty plea or conviction during April follows. Trista Blose, dba Bolivar Pizza (Bolivar, Tuscarawas County) pleaded no contest April 8 in the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas to one felony count of workers’ compensation fraud for allowing her coverage to... ...

Read More →

Know Your Rights

An Ohio injured worker has the right to choose a physician of his/her choice, to include Doctor of Osteopathy, Chiropractic, or Medicine. Your Employer may direct you to a facility of their choice; however you have the right to visit any BWC certified employer. The injured worker has the right to change his/her treating physician at any point in time. The Ohio injured worker has the first right to file a claim for an injury sustained during the course of and arising out of his/her work duties/employment. You have the right to have all health care services related to your work injury paid in full. You have the right to be compensated for any missed/loss time at work as defined by Ohio law. You have the right to file a Worker’s Compensation claim without fear of retribution or discrimination You have the right to appeal and follow due process for any and all managed care decisions affecting your choice of care. You have the right to seek legal counsel for... ...

Read More →

Pay us Ohio BWC

COLUMBUS, OH — BWC Administrator Steven Buehrer appears to be in a debate with himself according to Pay Us Back Ohio BWC, the coalition of employers supporting the 270,000 job creators in the landmark $860 million class action suit against the Bureau (San Allen, Inc., et al. vs. Stephen Buehrer, Administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC)). In communications with employers related to the $860 million class action suit, Buehrer said that paying money out of the state insurance trust fund is not the “appropriate way to generate growth in Ohio’s economy.” Buehrer’s statement contradicts comments by Governor Kasich at the announcement of the BWC’s ‘A Billion Back’ program, which will refund $1 billion of the Bureau’s $9 billion surplus. At the announcement, the Governor said, “This one of the most significant economic stimulus measures that you can see…being able to give a billion dollars in cash means there is going to be a heck of a lot more money floating around inside the state of Ohio and... ...

Read More →