Workers’ Compensation Questions and Answers
1. Workers’ Compensation alternatives
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation permits several alternative premium
payment programs for individual employers. While larger companies (generally
500 or more employees) may choose to be self-insured, small to moderate size
organizations must pay premiums to the Ohio State Insurance Fund operated by
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
Small and moderate size businesses, however, do have some alternatives when it
comes to workers’ compensation. These employers may select one of the
following rating programs: 1.) Individual base/merit rating; 2.) Individual
retrospective rating; or 3.) Group rating.
Group rating plans offer favorable rates for employers.
2. What is Group Rating?
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation permits employers with better-than-
average claim histories to join together through a sponsoring organization for the
purpose of being rated as a larger group. By participating in the group rating
plan, employers enjoy a much lower premium rate than they could achieve
3. How can My Company Determine the Value of Group Enrollment?
Comprehensive Risk Management (CRM), the group plan administrator, provides
employers with a no-obligation estimate that outlines the potential saving a group
rating plan offers. Each year beginning in March, CRM distributes AC-3 FORMS
To interested employers. By signing this form, you authorize CRM to obtain your
organization’s loss history from the state and assemble an analysis of your
projected group rating plan savings. The analysis will be sent to you for your
Completing and returning the AC-3FORM does not obligate you in any way to
join a group. After receiving and reviewing the analysis, you have the
opportunity to complete enrollment forms.
4. What if My Company is Already in Another Group?
Even if your company is currently a member of a different group, you can
obtain a comparative analysis from Comprehensive Risk Management.
However, you may enroll in only one group per year. You are permitted to switch
plans on an annual basis by completing an AC-26 Application for Group Rating
for the group you wish to join. For more information or assistance in your
transition to a CRM group, please contact our Group Rating Dept (216) 901-0066
5. How Much Can My Company Save?
Groups administered by Comprehensive Risk Management have realized
saving between 40% and 90% on individual company premiums. No two
group rating plans offer the same savings, and the actual savings a group
experiences are dependent upon the type of business, final loss figures, enrollment,
and reported payroll of participating individual members. Study estimates are
based on the most recent loss information available and are developed
conservatively. Because statewide rules dictate that group enrollment must occur
six months before Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation publishes the actual
group rate, no group program can guarantee the final savings.
6. What is the Enrollment Process?
All group programs follow the same approximate time table. The enrollment
process consists of completing a study authorization, receiving an estimate of
potential savings, and completing an enrollment application FORM AC-26 and
contract prior to January 31.
March-July Employer completes study authorization AC-3
July-August New rates are released by BWC
Group Administrator reviews and performs study
October-November Group administrator mails study results with
Enrollment application to employer
January 1 CRM Claim Management Service begins
Procedures manuals mailed to all group members
January 31 BWC’s enrollment deadline
July 1 New group payroll rate effective
Reduced premiums payable February 2007
and August 2007
7. Will I Receive Any Additional Services by Enrolling in the Group Program?
While your organization retains its individual risk account and ability to decide
on its own claims, Comprehensive Risk Management provides cost control
services and will work with you in administering your program. CRM’s team of
specialized representatives is available to assist with any workers’ compensation
problems including legal representation at scheduled hearings and assisting you in
improving your safety practices. A full outline of available services is provided
with the group analysis.
Yes----Managed Care Organization.
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation requires employers to select a Managed
Care Organization (MCO). Your group plan sponsor may recommend an MCO,
but the sponsor cannot require you to select any particular MCO as a
prerequisite for participating in the group rating plan.
No additional cost is required to enroll with the Managed Care Organization. An
MCO’s revenues are paid a percentage of employer premiums.
8. General Comments
The decision to participate in a group plan is made annually. An existing
participant must notify CRM each year to continue enrollment. Should an
individual member leave the group either voluntarily or because of poor history,
the individual company will be rated based upon its own claim history as is the
You must return all requested information to Comprehensive Risk Management to
enroll. The applications will be filed in January and reviewed by Ohio Bureau of
Workers’ Compensation to ensure compliance with specific Bureau rules.
9. Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Rules and Regulations
In addition to acceptance into the group, each employer must maintain an
account in good standing with Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation:
Any outstanding premium balances, assessments or partial payment plan
amounts must be paid in full by January 31 unless a written protest of the
balance has been filed with Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation prior
to the application date.
Applicants must not have cumulative coverage lapses of more than 59
days within the 18 months preceding the January 31 application deadline.
Coverage must be active and in effect as of July 1. 2007.
The formation of the group must improve claims handling procedures and
accident prevention. All group participants must agree to improve both
safety practices and claims management via procedures established by the
IMPORTANT: An individual company may not enroll in more than one
group plan. Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation can reject those who
join more than one group plan.
10. What Does it Cost to Join a Group?
Upon enrollment in a group, you must pay administrative fees. These fees are
calculated based upon the projected savings. The amount you pay covers claims
management services for the period beginning in January and is for
professional services provided by the plan administrator.
Legal representation is included (whenever needed) until the case goes into
the Court of Common Pleas. This means that CRM incurs all attorney costs
at the District Hearing, Staff Hearing, and Industrial Commission Hearing
Additionally, plan participants must be members in good standing of the
sponsoring organization and agree to remit dues to the association according
to its by-laws.
Comprehensive Risk Management
Comprehensive Risk Management specializes in the area of workers’
compensation claims control, aggressively representing employers in all matters
before Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Industrial Commission of
Ohio, while using attorneys instead of hearing representatives at NO additional
cost to you. Comprehensive Risk Management is the only company in the state of
Ohio whose registered representative is a law firm. United States Supreme Court
dictates that only lawyers may cite statutes and case law, and cross-examine
witnesses at court hearings. In addition, CRM’s experienced claims staff and our
access to advanced computer capabilities including on line links to Oho Bureau of
Workers’ Compensation allow Comprehensive Risk Management to effectively
assist in managing your fees as well as your claims.