As Ohio attempts to move forward during this pandemic, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is doing the same. For example, the BWC has resumed the scheduling of medical exams where necessary, is using alternative methods such as file reviews when possible, and has provided guidance on telemedicine resources to assist with the continuation of benefits to injured workers. The BWC is also making efforts to ease the economic impacts to businesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some highlights that employers, both self-insured and state-funded, should be aware of during this unprecedented time.
- Face-to- face audits are being suspended for both self-insured and state-funded employers. However, paper and virtual audits will continue with temporary certificates of coverage being issued.
- The BWC is waiving late fee penalty payments for Self-Insured Assessments due by February 28, 2020.
- The BWC is reimbursing self-insured employers that already paid late fee penalties for payments due by Feb. 28, 2020.
- Emergency sick leave, expanded FMLA, and leave time paid to employees related to child care or school closings for COVID-19 related reasons, effective April 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020, is not reportable to BWC for the purposes of premium calculations.
- For the purposes of true-up, the BWC has introduced the use of class code 8871 – Clerical Teleworker to be used for operational staff working remotely and performing different job duties during the declared state of emergency. IMPORTANTLY- employers must contact the BWC and request the addition of this code to their policy before use.
- The BWC is waiving safety education and training requirements for the policy year of July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 for the following programs:
- Drug Free Safety Program
- EM Cap Program
- Grow Ohio
- Industry Specific Safety Program
- One Claim Program
- Policy Activity Rebate Program
This list is illustrative, not inclusive or exhaustive, of steps the BWC is taking to move forward in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ease economic impacts on businesses during this time. For more information, contact us for assistance or go to https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/COVID-19-BWCFAQs.pdf.