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Self-insured companies in Ohio may see BWC changes

Almost two million workers are employed by self-insured businesses in Ohio. These self-insured businesses once had many issues with the state's Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), but there are many changes in the works allowing these businesses and their employees to benefit from increased flexibility and simplicity, according to a recent announcement.

More than 1,200 businesses are self-insured in the state, each of them administering their own workers' compensation program, which often pay directly to the workers when benefits are needed and approved. Changes to the state's program include new ways of providing guarantees to the BWC - instead of only allowing guarantees from a parent company, self-insured businesses may be able to provide a letter of credit. Multiple assessments for companies with subsidiaries will no longer be forced to be assessed on multiple occasions. This supposedly streamlines the process and allows the BWC to focus its efforts elsewhere.

According to the report, the BWC has made several improvements to its system in recent years. The backlog of policy renewals is down from 33 percent to less than one percent, processing of applications has improved by 44 percent, and the average time it takes to renew a policy is no longer 81 days past the scheduled renewal date - instead it happens 30 days before. In addition, the BWC has reportedly shortened its response time to injured worker complaints by 33 percent.

This last piece is important because it shows that the BWC works for the employees of the state, not just the employers who are seeking insurance coverage. Workers' compensation is a necessary program as it allows individuals who are injured on the job to afford the time off they need to recover.

Individuals who feel they have been unfairly denied workers' compensation for a workplace injury should contact a legal attorney to ensure they are properly represented and compensated according to the law.

Source: WorkersCompensation, "Ohio BWC Introduces Common-Sense Rules To Accelerate Reforms Of Its Self-Insured Dept," Feb. 25, 2013

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