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What Does It Mean When My Employer Is Self-Insured for Ohio Workers’ Compensation?

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) permits a small number of companies to self-insure themselves against workers’ comp claims. This may make the Workers’ Compensation claim a little tougher, but the basic rules regarding who can apply and which criteria must be used to grant or deny a claim remain the same.

The biggest difference for a worker is that all initial decisions regarding their workers’ comp claim will be handled within the company.

A Self-Insured Employer is Completely Responsible for:

  • Allowing or disallowing claims,
  • Paying compensation and benefits,
  • Keeping all relevant records,
  • Answering questions from the injured or ill employee regarding their claim, and
  • “Assisting employees in filing their applications for benefits and completing the necessary forms for processing a workers’ compensation claim.”

Why Are Some Employers Self-Insured for Workers’ Compensation?

The short and accurate answer is money.

The fees that the BWC charges Ohio employers reflect the number of employees and the value of approved claims. Self-insuring for workers’ comp claims has the potential to reduce employment costs. But—and this is a big but—companies that opt to self-insure only really save money if they deny a large share of applications for workers’ comp benefits.

This means that a self-insured company has a financial incentive to strongly contest and find reasons to reject claims for the coverage of medical bills and the replacement of lost wages.

What Happens If A Workers' Compensation Claim Is Rejected?

An initial rejection does not have to stand as a final answer, however. Employees of self-insured employers in Ohio can appeal rejections of workers’ comp claims. Such appeals can be pursued with representation from a lawyer who has experience helping people who suffer work-related injuries or who develop occupational illnesses.