I often wonder how many employers realize the jurisdictional issues associated with having employees working in other states. As you may know, each state has different laws and requirements for workers’ compensation coverage and it is not always easy for employers to know what is required of them in another state.
Unfortunately, the way employers usually find out about the differences in state laws, is when something bad happens. A claim is filed outside the state of Ohio or a letter comes from a state official with an accompanying penalty for not having proper coverage. We often get calls from employers when these things happen. They want to know what they should do to remedy the situation. Oftentimes though, the call comes too late and the only advice we can give is to work with the official to pay the penalty and get coverage for the future. This is not a great option for employers and usually not a cheap option either.
BWC has come to the realization that our employers need a better option. An option where they can get coverage up front so that the frantic phone calls can be eliminated and employers can focus on the success of their businesses. And that is why we are undertaking implementation of Other States Coverage for Ohio employers.
We are partnering with a private insurer to offer optional coverage to employers who may face financial exposure while working outside the state of Ohio. The coverage secured through BWC will be very similar to private workers’ compensation insurance that some employers have chosen to purchase on their own. And if an employer is happy with their private coverage, there is no mandate to switch. But for those who have struggled to find coverage or don’t know where to go to meet their out-of-state requirements, BWC is here and we can help.
It has been a long journey to make this possible for Ohio employers. The legislation was passed in 2014, and since then there have been countless workgroups, meetings, and training to get ready for this endeavor. I’m happy to say there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I would not say that we have it all figured out, and there will be a lot of learning along the way, but I have confidence that we will bring this coverage offering up in the next few months and have a viable option for Ohio employers who send their employees outside the state of Ohio.
We at BWC will keep on working hard to get this option up and running, and we hope that if you are in need of this coverage, you will give us a call. We are excited to assist you.
More about Other States Coverage is available at bwc.ohio.gov.