State to pay $1B in rebates

Clark, Champaign will receive an estimated $1.8 million from workers comp board.

The payouts will be distributed to more than 210,000 private and public employers in a lump sum payment, minus any previous premium payments owed, starting in late June, said Bill Teets, the workers compensation board spokesman. Public employers in the Dayton region will receive an estimated $8.8 million, according to BWC data.

“This rebate is possible largely because of the excellent results we’ve gotten on our investments,” said Nicholas Zuk, the BWC Board of Directors chairman.

Board members said the rebate would inject $1 billion directly into Ohio’s economy and would boost employee safety programs.

The plan would return nearly $1.26 million to 34 Clark County entities and about $564,000 to 32 entities in Champaign County.

Of the 66 government and school entities in Clark and Champaign counties that will receive rebates, Springfield is set to receive the largest amount of money. The state estimated the city’s rebate at $334,840. The city’s 2011 premium was $597,933.

Springfield city manager Jim Bodenmiller said the money will likely be put right back into its workers’ compensation fund.

“We’re very pleased to have the rebate, it will be very helpful to us even if it’s just for paying future workman’s comp claims,” Bodenmiller said.

Bodenmiller said the state may require next year’s claims to be paid in advance, rather than in arrears, meaning they may have to make two payments next year — thus accounting for the returned money.

“It’s still good news to get a rebate,” Bodenmiller said. “I appreciate the state sharing some of that back with us.”

Springfield City Schools’ is set to receive the second largest estimated local rebate at $263,740. The district’s 2011 premium was $470,978, according to state documents.

“We’ve done a good job here controlling workers’ comp costs,” said Springfield High School treasurer Dale Miller. “We’ll be able to put it back into the workers’ comp fund and continue to control our costs.”

Miller credited the district’s Workers’ Compensation Coordinator Greer Young with administering a strong safety program. The district’s workers’ comp premium continues to decline each year, Miller said.

Young said the district uses safety awareness techniques — both with injuries and near-misses — to help prevent future injury situations. He’ll often hand out training materials to injured employees as a way to make their job safer.

“We address those situations to look at what could be done to eliminate the problem so it doesn’t become an injury would create lost time for the district,” Young said.

The Champaign County Auditor’s Office could receive an estimated $217,380 in rebate money. It paid $388,189 in premiums in 2011.

Clark County’s estimated rebate is $154,090. The county’s 2011 premium was $257,425.

Urbana’s estimated rebate is $144,150 after paying in $257,425 in 2011.

Ohio employers who pay premiums to the state insurance fund will receive a rebate equivalent to 56 percent of their bill for the last policy period.

Statewide, the lion’s share of the payouts for public employers will go to schools, $42.5 million. Estimates for cities total $37.1 million and counties are expected to receive about $$16.5 million.

Gov. John Kasich’s proposal also includes a 4 percent BWC rate reduction for public employers on future payments, which could save dollars. Springfield estimated last week it could save approximately $43,000 based on last year’s payment.

The plan also includes a $3 increase in state grant funds to match every $1 spent spent by employers, up to $40,000, for the purchase of safety equipment.

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