4123.34 Solvency of funds - premium rates.

It shall be the duty of the bureau of workers' compensation board of directors and the administrator of workers' compensation to safeguard and maintain the solvency of the state insurance fund and all other funds specified in this chapter and Chapters 4121., 4127., and 4131. of the Revised Code. The administrator, in the exercise of the powers and discretion conferred upon the administrator in section 4123.29 of the Revised Code, shall fix and maintain, with the advice and consent of the board, for each class of occupation or industry, the lowest possible rates of premium consistent with the maintenance of a solvent state insurance fund and the creation and maintenance of a reasonable surplus, after the payment of legitimate claims for injury, occupational disease, and death that the administrator authorizes to be paid from the state insurance fund for the benefit of injured, diseased, and the dependents of killed employees. In establishing rates, the administrator shall take into account the necessity of ensuring sufficient money is set aside in the premium payment security fund to cover any defaults in premium obligations. The administrator shall observe all of the following requirements in fixing the rates of premium for the risks of occupations or industries:

(A) The administrator shall keep an accurate account of the money paid in premiums by each of the several classes of occupations or industries, and the losses on account of injuries, occupational disease, and death of employees thereof, and also keep an account of the money received from each individual employer and the amount of losses incurred against the state insurance fund on account of injuries, occupational disease, and death of the employees of the employer.

(B) A portion of the money paid into the state insurance fund shall be set aside for the creation of a surplus fund account within the state insurance fund. Any references in this chapter or in Chapter 4121., 4125., 4127., or 4131. of the Revised Code to the surplus fund, the surplus created in this division, the statutory surplus fund, or the statutory surplus of the state insurance fund are hereby deemed to be references to the surplus fund account. The administrator may transfer the portion of the state insurance fund to the surplus fund account as the administrator determines is necessary to satisfy the needs of the surplus fund account and to guarantee the solvency of the state insurance fund and the surplus fund account. In addition to all statutory authority under this chapter and Chapter 4121. of the Revised Code, the administrator has discretionary and contingency authority to make charges to the surplus fund account. The administrator shall account for all charges, whether statutory, discretionary, or contingency, that the administrator may make to the surplus fund account. A revision of basic rates shall be made annually on the first day of July.

Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, one hundred eighty days after the effective date on which self-insuring employers first may elect under division (D) of section 4121.66 of the Revised Code to directly pay for rehabilitation expenses, the administrator shall calculate the deficit, if any, in the portion of the surplus fund account that is used for reimbursement to self-insuring employers for all expenses other than handicapped reimbursement under section 4123.343 of the Revised Code. The administrator, from time to time, may determine whether the surplus fund account has such a deficit and may assess all self-insuring employers who participated in the portion of the surplus fund account during the accrual of the deficit and who during that time period have not made the election under division (D) of section 4121.66 of the Revised Code the amount the administrator determines necessary to reduce the deficit.

For policy years commencing prior to July 1, 2016, revisions of basic rates for private employers shall be in accordance with the oldest four of the last five calendar years of the combined accident and occupational disease experience of the administrator in the administration of this chapter, as shown by the accounts kept as provided in this section . For a policy year commencing on or after July 1, 2016, revisions of basic rates for private employers shall be in accordance with the oldest four of the last five policy years combined accident and occupational disease experience of the administrator in the administration of this chapter, as shown by the accounts kept as provided in this section.

Revisions of basic rates for public employers shall be in accordance with the oldest four of the last five policy years of the combined accident and occupational disease experience of the administrator in the administration of this chapter, as shown by the accounts kept as provided in this section.

In revising basic rates, the administrator shall exclude the experience of employers that are no longer active if the administrator determines that the inclusion of those employers would have a significant negative impact on the remainder of the employers in a particular manual classification . The administrator shall adopt rules, with the advice and consent of the board, governing rate revisions, the object of which shall be to make an equitable distribution of losses among the several classes of occupation or industry, which rules shall be general in their application.

(C) The administrator may apply that form of rating system that the administrator finds is best calculated to merit rate or individually rate the risk more equitably, predicated upon the basis of its individual industrial accident and occupational disease experience, and may encourage and stimulate accident prevention. The administrator shall develop fixed and equitable rules controlling the rating system, which rules shall conserve to each risk the basic principles of workers' compensation insurance.

(D) The administrator, from the money paid into the state insurance fund, shall set aside into an account of the state insurance fund titled a premium payment security fund sufficient money to pay for any premiums due from an employer and uncollected .

The use of the moneys held by the premium payment security fund account is restricted to reimbursement to the state insurance fund of premiums due and uncollected .

(E) The administrator may grant discounts on premium rates for employers who meet either of the following requirements:

(1) Have not incurred a compensable injury for one year or more and who maintain an employee safety committee or similar organization or make periodic safety inspections of the workplace.

(2) Successfully complete a loss prevention program prescribed by the superintendent of the division of safety and hygiene and conducted by the division or by any other person approved by the superintendent.

(F)

(1) In determining the premium rates for the construction industry the administrator shall calculate the employers' premiums based upon the actual remuneration construction industry employees receive from construction industry employers, provided that the amount of remuneration the administrator uses in calculating the premiums shall not exceed an average weekly wage equal to one hundred fifty per cent of the statewide average weekly wage as defined in division (C) of section 4123.62 of the Revised Code.

(2) Division (F)(1) of this section shall not be construed as affecting the manner in which benefits to a claimant are awarded under this chapter.

(3) As used in division (F) of this section, "construction industry" includes any activity performed in connection with the erection, alteration, repair, replacement, renovation, installation, or demolition of any building, structure, highway, or bridge.

(G) The administrator shall not place a limit on the length of time that an employer may participate in the bureau of workers' compensation drug free workplace and workplace safety programs.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 493, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.

Amended by 128th General Assemblych.179, HB 15, §101, eff. 6/30/2009 and 9/29/2009.

Effective Date: 06-30-1997; 2007 HB100 09-10-2007; 2008 SB334 09-11-2008