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Understanding Ohio law
All Ohio employers with one or more employees must, by law, have workers' compensation coverage

Ohio law requires employers to obtain workers' compensation insurance for all their employees. Ohio employers are either state-funded or self-insured which means:

State funded employers (which are private and public employers, except for state agencies) pay an insurance premium to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) to buy a workers' compensation policy. BWC then pays compensation benefits directly to the worker for any work-related injury. The employer's Managed Care Organization (MCO) manages the injured worker's health care and help/him/her return to work.

Self-insuring employers do not pay an insurance premium to BWC, but rather "retain their own exposure" (take financial risk) to pay the claims cost for their employees work-related injury. Self-insuring employers then pay workers' compensation benefits directly to their employees. Refer to Self-Insured Employers for more information.


Reasons for coverage

By Ohio law, employers with one or more employees must have workers' compensation coverage and those with coverage must keep their policy information updated.

For example, you will need to contact BWC to begin a policy or update information if you are:

  • Starting a new business
  • Working as an independent contractor or subcontractor and you have employees
  • Acquiring, merging, purchasing, and/or selling a business
  • Updating you existing workers' compensation policy

For a few employers, workers' compensation coverage is elective. Refer to Elective coverage for more information.