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Workers’ Compensation Changes Reviewed




There are changes going on in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and the BWC is searching for ways to make the state workers’ compensation system more competitive with other states.

Deb Schultz, business consultant for the BWC, spoke at the Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce noon luncheon program, Monday, Nov. 10.

She said BWC officials are talking to other states, most notably Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, looking at what they do with their workers’ compensation systems so Ohio can make its system more competitive.

She said BWC needs feedback from employers “so we can get the system up to where it needs to be.”

While there are many changes to benefit employers, Schultz said Ohio still needs safer workplaces. The BWC offers classes and programs, including some industry-specific programs, available at no cost.

She said BWC will work with employers on site to offer suggestions.

Tabular, MIRA, MIRA II

One of the changes the BWC recently implemented is MIRA II.

MIRA II deals with reserves for individual claims. In the case of a workers’ compensation claim, BWC estimates how much it will cost to treat the injured worker in the future, and adjusts the employer’s rates to build a reserve for the claim.

Prior to 2002, BWC changed from its tabular system to MIRA, a computerized system that better responded to activity.

Then in July 2008, the BWC was mandated by the state legislature to go to MIRA II.

Schultz said MIRA II reacts much better to inactivity.

BWC is also looking at the frequency of claims. For example, one employer may have one freak accident claim for $250,000, while another may have 10 claims of $25,000. BWC does not penalize the employer for one freak accident.

She told those attending the luncheon that group rates for workers’ compensation premiums “are here to stay.”

Missing A Premium?

Schultz said she realized that many BWC forms and letters are difficult to understand, but employers shouldn’t just push them aside.

She urged employers who receive paperwork they don’t understand to call the BWC and have it explained to them.

She also said if an employer fears it won’t be able to make a premium payment, it should call before the due date. BWC has a program where employers can pay half the premium, then pay the remainder later.


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