Have you been keeping track of your Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) premiums during these last couple of months? I have helped many employers get a handle on the moving parts that make up their BWC premiums. Remember, for this article, we are always talking about the State’s fiscal year that begins July 1. Here’s a brief summary of what is happening (much of it good)!
2015 Billion Back
Because the Ohio State Fund Surplus has exceeded $9.6 Billion, BWC has begun to mail refund checks to employers equal to 66% of the premiums they paid in 2015. If you were in a Group Retrospective Rating Program in 2015 you will first receive your earned Group Retro rebate in October followed immediately by your Billion Back check.
It is time for employers to report 7/1/2016 through 6/30/17 payroll online with the BWC. Once the payroll is reported, the website will automatically calculate the actual premium for your policy for the 2016 policy year. The system will compare the installments you made with the actual premium total and credit any overpayment or prompt you to pay the difference if it turns out you underpaid. The reporting and any resulting payments must be completed by August 15, 2017.
The first premium installment for the 2017 Fiscal Year was due 7/3/17. Now is a good time to compare your 2017 estimated annual premium (EAP) with your 2016 actual premium in the true-up described above. Your 2017 installments are based on historical payroll (usually 7/1/15 payroll) so I highly recommend you estimate what you expect to have in payroll for 2017 and compare it to what BWC is using to establish your premium installments.
2017 Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA)
Beginning 7/1/2017 if your employee is injured in an MVA in which a third party is cited for the accident, the costs will no longer be charged to the employer’s policy. Instead, if notified by the employer, BWC will charge the costs in that claim to the Ohio State Fund Surplus and then pursue subrogation against the third party. This is a tremendous development for employers!
Ken Finley is a Sr. Rate Analyst at V+A Risk Services where he works with Ohio employers to implement strategies to lower their workers’ compensation premiums.