As you may have already heard from news sources like the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ compensation recently made changes to its billing system for workers’ compensation coverage. The change will affect any private or public employers who are currently receiving workers’ compensation coverage through the state and will become effective on July 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016 respectively.
But while private employers across the state are readying themselves for the major change to how they currently pay their insurance premiums, some of our Columbus readers may be wondering what this change will mean for employers and if it will have any effect on workers or their benefits.
The answer is that the change to the BWC’s workers’ compensation billing system should not have an effect on workers or their benefits. This is because the change largely will not change the amount of benefits they receive, only how their employer pays for its insurance coverage.
Starting July 1, private employers receiving coverage from the state will have the choice of paying premiums in installments ranging from twice a year to every month. The BWC has also changed how employers are billed as well. Instead of paying for coverage they already have, employers will be charged premiums for the coverage they will receive. Called progressive billing, the BWC says this is an industry standard and that the change was a way to meet what other insurance companies are already doing.
It’s worth pointing out that while this new billing system may not completely help employers avoid missed payments, it continues to hold employers accountable for compensating injured workers. This means that while an employer might lapse on a payment, workers’ compensation benefits will still be available to employees during this time.
Sources: The Columbus Dispatch, “Ohio workers’ comp agency readies new billing system,” April 27, 2015
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ compensation, “Prospective Billing Information and Resources,” accessed April 28, 2015