By Kimberly Kline, Chief, Department of Strategic Direction
When I was growing up, my dad used to always tell me the best way to communicate is to communicate clearly and communicate often. I have taken this to heart and put this into practice with BWC’s transition to prospective billing. By now I’m sure you have all heard that BWC has transitioned to prospective billing but what you may not have heard is the success we are seeing from this transition. Not only are we seeing employers in this state grasp the new process, but we are hearing from satisfied customers that they are now provided with payment options that best fit their business needs.
Over the past two years BWC put an aggressive communication plan together that included letters, e-mails, live seminars, webinars and online videos and content to assist our employers in understanding and making the transition to prospective billing. One of the best ways to measure our success in this communication is how many employers maintain active coverage, and that number is 95 percent! I believe this number demonstrates that the initial concern about employers lapsing coverage with more opportunities to lapse has not come to fruition. Overall, the numbers of lapses have decreased since transitioning to prospective billing. With 95 percent of private employers maintaining active coverage, that leaves just 5 percent, or around 13,000 policies, in a lapsed status. To put this in context, under the previous retrospective system between 40,000-45,000 policies typically lapsed every 6 months. That represents around 17 percent of our overall policies.
BWC is now communicating more frequently than ever with our customers through e-mail as well. We are now sending reminder e-mails to policies 5 days before the installment due date (if they have not already made their payment). We also have a strategic plan in place to get policies reinstated that involves both e-mails and personal phone calls for a few weeks following the lapse date. We believe this outreach has assisted our employers in staying active with their coverage.
Employers are encouraged to sign up for an e-account and provide an accurate e-mail address; this allows us to send reminders of installment due dates and notifications of any lapse in coverage so employers can take action to get their policy reinstated as soon as possible. Learn how to create an e-account here, and visit bwc.ohio.gov to get started.
In the end, the employers of the state of Ohio have done a great job of understanding the new requirements and taking advantage of tools and information BWC makes available and are excelling in this new environment. I guess as my children grow up I will pass on to them the same advice my father gave me, it seems to be working so far!