COLUMBUS — Ohio continues to ascend the rankings of a biennial study that compares national workers’ compensation rates.
The state’s rates improved from 33rd in 2014 to 40th, making Ohio the 11th lowest among all states. Ohio’s standing in the Oregon Study, which ranks states from most expensive to least expensive, has continually improved since its rates were ranked third highest in the nation in 2008.
“A steady decline in rates is one more indicator that BWC is doing its part to promote economic growth in Ohio,” said Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. “Beyond the numbers, we’re becoming a world-class carrier by improving the customer experience and expanding our nationally recognized workplace health and safety programs and services.”
The Oregon Study, produced by the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services, compares each state’s base rates across a selection of 50 widely used classification codes that are assigned by occupation to indicate their degree of risk.
Ohio is continuing to lower rates even beyond what is reflected in the Oregon Study. Since the study was conducted, BWC reduced average rates for private employers another 8.6 percent. Further, the study compares base rates, and does not account for the various money-saving rate plans and other BWC programs. When the base rate changes and rebate programs are factored in, the actual amount collected by BWC averages $1.22 per $100 of payroll compared to the $1.45 rate reflected in the study. The national median rate is $1.84.
Rate reductions for Ohio private employers have resulted in reduced average rates 28.2 percent lower than those in effect at the beginning of 2011. Public employers are not included in the Oregon Study. In Ohio, however, these employers have also seen rate reductions that totaled 26.5 percent over the same time period. In total, Ohio employers have saved nearly $4.8 billion in workers’ comp premium costs since 2011.