Scioto County stands to receive a rebate of approximately $240,000 if a proposed $1 billion Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) rebate is approved. BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison announced the proposal with Ohio Governor John Kasich at Dynamit, a downtown Columbus company that creates web and mobile applications.
Scioto County BWC Administrator Jim Lintz said the BWC invests monies that counties pay in that exceed what that county’s actual true cost would be. That money accumulates rapidly and when the BWC gets to a certain point they will kick back part of that money to the counties.
“This would be based on 2015 amounts we paid in for Scioto County’s coverage for the Bureau of Workers Comp,” Lintz said. “They are projecting an approximately 60 percent refund of what we paid in for 2015. The estimated amount, an it could fluctuate, around $240,000. This will be done by an actual rebate check from the state of Ohio to Scioto County and at that time, I would imagine that the commissioners will put that into the General Fund to cover costs and maybe direct it to projects they have in mind.”
If approved by BWC’s Board of Directors, the proposed rebate, along with previous rebates, credits and rate reductions, would total $6.3 billion the agency has saved Ohio employers in workers’ compensation costs since the start of 2011.
“By continually looking to reduce workers compensation costs to public and private employers, and invest in workplace safety efforts, Ohio has been able to create a much better climate for success for job creators, government employees and workers,” Kasich said. “Returning yet another $1 billion back to our businesses, schools and local governments means we will have saved employers as well as taxpayers an impressive $6 billion in our continuing efforts to make workers’ compensation operate better.”
Lintz referred to the rebate as a windfall and said it is always good to get back part of what the county has paid in.
“The calculations are going to be based on hard figures in June and they have told me the check would be mailed out in July,” Lintz said. “We have to always try to keep the cost down and they will base that on our payroll and risk, how much money we have to put in reserve to cover future costs of existing claims.”
Lintz said most claims accumulate, so the county has to try to supress those numbers, sometimes by buying out claims.
“I’ve got four in the works right now,” Lintz said. “To give you an example, the reserve on one might be $28,000 and that person settles for $8,000 – when they do that it completely goes off our experience and our record, so the next time they calculate what our premium should be, it will reduce it.”
Lintz said, if the county can buy out claims, it saves the county in the long run.
“Gov. Kasich challenged us to invest even more in creating a culture of safety in Ohio’s workplaces and ensuring more people return home each day safe and healthy,” Morrison said. “Our goal is to develop a plan that will help protect workers’ health and wellbeing on the job and at home.”
If approved by the BWC Board of Directors, more than 200,000 eligible private and public employers would receive a rebate equal to 66 percent of premiums for the policy year that ended June 30, 2016 (calendar year 2015 for public employers). The proposal will be presented to the board at its meeting this Thursday. If approved at the board’s April meeting, BWC could begin issuing checks in early July.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.