Since 1912 the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, BWC, has benefited employers and employees by providing medical and compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases and deaths. Today, BWC has a central office in Columbus and 16 customer service offices located across the state. BWC provides insurance to about two-thirds of Ohio's work force. The remaining workers receive coverage directly through their employers.
Coverage provided directly through an Ohio employer is done so as a part of a self-insurance program for large and financially stable employers who meet strict qualifications set by BWC. Ohio has the largest exclusive state fund in the nation with a value of more than $19 billion in assets. The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation is the second largest underwriters of workers' compensation insurance in the country. The BWC provides workers compensation coverage to more than 280,000 employers, has processed more than 185,000 new claims and paid out more than $1.9 billion in workers comp benefits while all along collecting more than $2.1 billion in premiums and assessments from employers.
Ohio's monopolistic state workers compensation program consists of two sections. The BWC, which is the insurance part, provides insurance coverage and administrative functions to the program. The Industrial Commission of Ohio or the IC provides the claims part. The IC is where you go to contest Ohio workers comp claims decisions.
The final part of the Ohio workers comp system consists of the Ohio Workers Compensation Oversight Commission. This commission is responsible for keeping a watchful eye on the Bureau of Workers Compensation's investments, policies and administrative rules. This commission is made up of five members chosen from the labor, employer and public sectors.
In 1919, the North Dakota Legislative Assembly created the Workmen's Compensation Bureau. Its purpose was to provide "sure and certain relief regardless of questions of fault to the exclusion of every other remedy, proceeding, or compensation." The intent of the law was to provide relief to workers injured while on the job.
This relief would be in the form of compensation for lost earnings and payment of medical bills incurred. It was anticipated that the law would help employers by eliminating the risk of damaging lawsuits by injured employees. The following is taken from a 1997-1998 report issued by the State:
"While the North Dakota Workers Compensation Bureau has achieved tremendous improvements, it also recognizes the need to ensure that every aspect of its operation meets or exceeds private industry standards. Recognizing that no competition exists in the North Dakota workers' compensation market that would force NDWC to "operate efficiently or cease to exist, NDWC and its Board believe they have a special obligation to maintain the highest standards of performance and efficiency."
A 1999 - 2001 report showed there were 20,045 claims filed during the year 2000 and 20,320 during the year 2001. The Balance Sheet reports showed a total fund surplus of $376,242,034 million for year 2000 and a total fund surplus of $378,632,017 for year 2001.
Washington was one of the first in 1911 to implement workers compensation law. In Washington's industrial insurance system, state government, through the Department of Labor and Industries (DL&I), acts as both insurer and administrator of the workers' compensation system.
Department of Labor and Industries monitors and oversees the actions and decisions of its own insurance operation, called the "state fund." The Washington Legislature, in 1949, created an independent, administrative mechanism for appealing a departmental decision. The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals hears appeals of any Department of Labor and Industries decisions and settles claim disputes.
The Washington Legislature granted individual employers the right to self-insure for workers compensation claims in 1971. It also established the Department of Labor and Industries responsibility for monitoring the self-insurance activities of these employers and to assure their compliance with state workers' compensation laws and regulations. During this legislative session injured workers benefits were increased and injured workers compensation was indexed to inflation. It is reported that on-the-job injuries and the number of injured worker claims has declined since 1990.
As a monopolistic state, Washington employers purchase workers compensation coverage directly through the L & I. Find more information on Washington's workers compensation system on the Washington Work Comp Rules and Laws page.
4) Wyoming - A Monopolistic State
Wyoming Workers Compensation...
Wyoming achieved state hood in 1890. In 1915 they passed the first workers compensation legislation. Currently all workers compensation issues are handled by the Wyoming Department of Employment under the division of Worker's Safety and Compensation. The Department of Employments mission statement reads:
"The mission of the Department of Employment is to provide information and quality services that promote economic security, employment, and a safe work environment for our customers."