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Workers Comp Reform Yields $13 Million in Rebates to Local Employers So Far
Posted on: 07/19/2013
By  Andy Rex
 
Employers across Ohio will soon see money coming back to them from the state. The rebate checks are coming from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, which is returning money to both public and private employers. 
 
Workers Comp Administrator Steve Buehrer tells WMOA News that the agency has had a better than expected return on investment of premiums, and wants to give some of that back.

“It’s part of a three-part strategy to reduce our net assets, which are basically those dollars that the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation holds, that employers have paid in to take care of the long-term costs in our system. We hold those extra dollars and invest them. We assume we’re going to get about a four percent return.
 
"Over the last three years, we’ve had an 11.4 percent annualized return. A few extra dollars have accumulated, and we wanted to get those back out to the business community. And, all employers – public and private – across the state.”

This first part of the program will return about one billion dollars to Ohio employers, with a fair amount of that coming back to this area, Beuhrer states.
 
“Washington County, and surrounding counties are going to get a little over $13 million back. So, it will be very significant for businesses to be able to invest in their companies or in safety, and of course, local governments to do all the things they do on our behalf.”
 
Buehrer says it’s a win-win situation for the state and its job providers.
 
“We think it’s good for employers because we’re getting money back into the community. It’s good for workers in terms of safer workplaces. It’s good for reforming our system  that will help grow jobs in Ohio, which is Governor Kasich’s overarching agenda for Ohio. 
 
"The thing I really want to emphasize is if you’re an employer – either public or private – be sure you’re watching that mailbox in the next week or ten days, because these checks are coming out. They’re good checks. They’re real checks from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. People need to take them to their banks, get them cashed, and start investing in the growth of Ohio.”
 
The other two parts of the plan include tripling the amount in a grant pool for safety improvements by employers, and modernizing the Bureau of Workers Comp premium collection system.
 
Buehrer says when the entire modernization program is completed, the savings will allow a full six months of premiums to be forgiven for all Ohio employers. In fact, he says, after all three parts of the program are completed by the end of next year, a total of $2 billion will be back in employers’ hands.  
 
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