Ohio employers to get $1.5B rebate from workers’ comp program

Strong investment returns in the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation fund are prompting state officials to plan giving back $1.5 billion to Ohio employers.

“This money will help Ohio employers expand their businesses, create jobs, and invest in capital improvements,” said Gov. Mike DeWine in a written statement. “Ohio’s economy is strong, and this proposal reinforces our goal of creating more jobs in the state.”

Of the $1.5 billion rebates, approximately $114 million will go to local governments and around $50 million will go to public schools, the DeWine administration announced Monday.

It’ll mark the fifth time Ohio has returned money to public and private employers of $1-billion or more since 2013.

Related: Workers’ comp to phase out use of OxyContin

The BWC is a state-run insurance system for employees in the public and private sector that was created more than 100 years ago. It collects premiums from employers and then pays medical expenses and lost wages for workers injured on the job.

In 2018, there were 85,000 injury claims filed with BWC. The agency insures roughly 242,000 public and private employers.

Related: Workers comp rates could be cut by an average of 20 percent

In 2018, BWC earned $1.3 billion on its $26.9 billion invested assets portfolio.

The rebate plan will be presented to the BWC Board of Directors this week and a vote would follow at its June 28 meeting. If approved, employers would see the rebate money in September.

The BWC cut its premium rates for public employers in January by 12 percent. A 20 percent rate cut for private employers is set to begin July 1.

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