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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine requested that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation release $5 billion in dividends to ease the continued financial impact on the state’s employer from the COVID-19 pandemic, his office said in a statement Wednesday.
The BWC’s board of directors issued a notice Thursday that the board will meet virtually on Friday morning to discuss the governor’s proposal. If approved and distributed, the BWC will have paid out nearly $8 billion in dividend dollars this year.
Private and public employers in Franklin County would receive approximately $559 million, followed by Cuyahoga County at $528 million. The city of Columbus would receive nearly $64 million, marking the largest single dividend check issued in this distribution if approved.
“We’ve never issued three dividends in the same year, let alone any for this much, but unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions,” said Stephanie McCloud, BWC’s administrator and CEO in a statement. “Even so, the state insurance fund is well positioned to cover our injured workers for years to come.”
In April, the BWC approved a $1.6 billion dividend; the agency’s board approved an additional $1.5 billion dividend in September. A $5 billion dividend is approximately four times the total premiums the BWC collected from policyholders in 2019, according to the statement.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
MEMIC Group, one of Maine’s largest workers compensation insurers, on Thursday announced plans to distribute $22 million in dividends to policyholders, matching that record amount distributed in 2018 based on 2015 losses and 14% of premiums paid in 2016.