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Understanding SI assessments

In addition to directly paying all compensation and medical costs, self-insuring employers pay semiannual assessments to BWC based on a percentage of their claim payments. These assessments include:

  • Self-Insured Surplus Fund (SIS) – Covers claim costs charged to the Surplus Fund of the State Insurance Fund. These costs are primarily for claims with injury dates prior to 1987 of defaulted self-insuring employers and for specific medical exams and prostheses.
  • Self-Insured Employers Guaranty Fund (SIEGF) – Covers the costs of defaulted self-insuring employers' claims with injury dates after 1986. It also includes managed care organization (MCO) fees and the costs of Disabled Workers' Relief Fund (or cost-of-living increases) on eligible bankrupt self- insuring employers' permanent total disability claims with any injury date.
  • BWC and Ohio Industrial Commission (IC) Administrative Cost Funds – Cover the administrative costs of BWC and IC activities that support self-insuring employers.
  • Division of Safety & Hygiene Fund – Covers BWC's Division of Safety & Hygiene's activities on behalf of self-insuring employers.
  • Optional Disallowed Claim Reimbursement Program – This assessment funds the program to reimburse participating self-insuring employers for claim costs awarded by the IC that were ultimately overturned. Currently, 405 self-insuring employers participate in this program.
  • Guaranty fund assessments for new self-insuring employers – We assess new self-insuring employers 6 percent of the most current complete year of payroll premium, or a minimum of $5,000, at the effective date of self-insurance and the next two renewals.

In addition, all self-insuring employers must reimburse BWC for any Disabled Workers' Relief Fund (DWRF) payments, dollar-for-dollar on a semiannual basis. This fund is for permanently and totally disabled employees whose workers' comp benefits have not kept up with inflation. BWC bills the self-insuring employer dollar for dollar for these costs regardless of the injury date including any PTD claims related to any previous state fund policies.

Changes in the rates are a function of paid compensation reported by self-insuring employers and costs paid on behalf of self-insuring employers. SI employers will pay their assessments based on the 2020 rates in February and August 2021. They will pay assessments based on the 2021 rates in February and August 2022.

For the 2022 rating year, 2021 calendar year paid compensation is used to determine assessments. If the 2021 reported compensation is below the minimum amount of $13,569.27, the minimum assessment for each mandatory fund shown in the chart below will be invoiced.

Mandatory assessment description 2021 rates: July 2021 - June 2022 2021 minimum assessment 2022 rates: July 2022 - June 2023 2022 minimum assessment
Surplus Fund (mandatory) 0.0125 $170.94 0.0110 $149.59
Guaranty Fund 0.1172 No minimum 0.1172 No minimum
Administrative Cost Fund (BWC) 0.1034 $1,413.22 0.1034 $1,406.16
Administrative Cost Fund (IC) 0.0979 $1,338.04 0.1029 $1,399.36
Division of Safety & Hygiene 0.0057 $77.90 0.0033 $44.89
Optional assessment description 2021 rates: July 2021 - June 2022 2021 minimum assessment     2022 rates: July 2022 - June 2023 2022 minimum assessment
Surplus Fund (disallowed claims reimbursement) 0.0050 No minimum 0.0050 No minimum

BWC issues self-insured assessment invoices in January and July of each year based on reported paid compensation from the previous calendar year. For example, the SI employer must report paid compensation for calendar year 2020 to BWC by February 2021. BWC will issue corresponding invoices in January 2022 with a due date of Feb. 28, 2022, and in July 2022 with a due date of Aug. 31, 2022. The employer must report paid compensation for calendar year 2021 by Feb. 28, 2022.  BWC will issue corresponding invoices in January 2023 with a due date of Feb. 28, 2023, and in July 2023 with a due date of Aug. 31, 2023.

Frequently asked questions

How does BWC determine assessment rates?
BWC maintains a minimum balance of funds in the SIEGF at rates as low as possible to assure sufficient moneys to guarantee the payment of any claims against the fund. Additionally, Ohio Administrative Code 4123-19-15 (B) requires the SIEGF to maintain a minimum balance of 1.25 times the prior year's annual claims disbursements. When we determine the SIEGF has insufficient funds, we will then assess all self-insuring employers an annual contribution.

We determine SIS and SIEGF year-end fund balances and identify adjustments needed in the upcoming year. We determine new rates based on projected income from assessments and other third-party sources, and the amount needed to meet the statutorily required levels.

What are the revenue sources for the SIS and SIEGF?
The primary source of revenue is the assessment payments from self-insuring employers. Additional revenue can come from collection on security for defaulted employers, and recoveries from excess liability insurance previously held by defaulted employers.

What is the minimum assessment rate?
We determine the minimum amount of assessment due each year, regardless of the amount of compensation paid and reported. For a canceled self-insuring employer, we reduce the minimum assessment by 10 percent each year the employer reports paid compensation below the amount required to reach the minimum rate.

How did BWC determine the current assessment rates?
Please see the current-year assessment rate documentation.

How does BWC invoice the assessments?
We levy assessments based on the prior year's reported paid compensation for all active self-insuring employers. We used reported compensation for the calendar year 2019 for the January and July 2021 billings. Payments are due the last day of February and August, respectively.

Can employers pay invoices online? Where should employers send payments?
Self-insuring employers must make online payments with a credit card or bank account withdrawal from this website. If you have received a waiver for this requirement, you can mail payments to Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, P.O. Box 89492, Cleveland, OH  44101-6492.

What if my payment is late?
We must receive assessment payments prior to the end of February and August. We will charge a $500 penalty if payment is not received on time. We may add additional penalties if payments are not received within 60 days of the payment due date.