Worker's Compensation 1K Program Expands to 5K

Mrs. Dianne Shoemaker, Dairy Extension Specialist, OSU Extension

Worker's Compensation Insurance coverage is designed to protect employees. It is not optional and represents a significant expense for Ohio's farm businesses. Premium costs can reach 25% of gross payroll without careful management. Each farm business must make employee safety a priority. Proper training and maintenance are critical investments towards achieving a safe workplace.

Other tools to minimize Worker's Compensation premiums are available to all farm businesses and have been discussed in previous issues of the Ohio Ag Manager Newsletter. Recent passage of Senate Bill 7 increased the payment limit in the $1,000 Medical-Only or 1K Program. Claims with a date of injury occurring on or after June 30, 2006, will now fall under the $5,000 Medical-Only or 5K Program.

An employer must be enrolled in the program before a claim occurs. Once enrolled and if an accident occurs, an employer can pay all medical expenses up to $5,000 if no more than 7 days of work are lost. An employer has the option of telling the Bureau of Worker's Compensation that it does not wish to pay the medical bills for a particular claim and allow it to follow the regular claim process through their designated MCO (managed care organization).

If the employer chooses to pay the medical bills for a qualifying accident, the accident will not be part of the employer's Worker's Compensation claim history. This claim history is used to determine eligibility for and discount level of group rating program participation. Claims involving more than $5,000 of medical expenses or 7 days of lost work time must go through the regular Worker's Compensation claim process. Follow this link to find more detailed information on this program: