City gets another BWC refund


April 25, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

The city of Portsmouth has received another refund check from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Portsmouth Mayor David Malone says it is not the first and it won’t be the last.

“We received a check for $41,300,” Malone said. “And there’s going to be at least one other check that is going to be coming later on. And they said it is probably going to be a sizable one.

“We’re part of an aggregate of cities, I think there are 14 cities involved, and collectively our Workers’ Comp claims are down. And they have been trending down for a few years, so we get credit each year because of a decline in injury cases.”

Malone said the city’s Workers’ Compensation rate has continued to be low in the last several years.

“I think it was 3.8 percent this year, and for the last years that I have been in it has gone down each year,” Malone said. “Last year we got a check totaling about $75,000.”

Meanwhile, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation proposed a 2.1 percent base-rate reduction for private employers at the BWC Board of Directors’ Actuarial Committee Thursday. The recommendation would reduce employer premiums by $29 million for the July 1, 2014 policy year. If approved by BWC’s Board of Directors next month, it would be the third year in a row that workers’ compensation insurance rates have remained steady or dropped.

“Conservative management and strong investments, coupled with favorable claim frequency, claim severity and payroll trends are allowing us to achieve our goal of setting the lowest possible rates while still maintaining the solvency of the fund,” BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer said. “I’m pleased that over the past three years we’ve been able to provide both quality care and service to Ohio’s injured workers and stable, reasonable rates for Ohio’s employers.”

Ohio’s workers’ compensation rate reductions over the last three years come at a time when the National Council on Compensation Insurance reports that nationally, states with rate increases are outnumbering states with decreases.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.