Almost all workers are covered by their employer's workers' compensation insurance. That means those who qualify can expect to recuperate and still be paid a disability wage. Another huge benefit is the payment of all medical expenses related to the injury or illness. Dealing with the medical aspect of workers' compensation can be a bit confusing, so read on to find out more.
Who Should Provide Your Care?
Every state runs the workers' compensation coverage a bit differently. If you need information about your state specifically, most have online information for hurt workers. You can also speak to your employer's human resources office. Usually, states either pick a doctor for you, allow you to choose your own, or you choose from a list of doctors provided by the insurance carrier. Take a look at what else to know about your workers' compensation medical treatment:
- It's important to understand that your employer is not overseeing your medical treatment. Employers pay premiums to third-party insurers who run the program and administer a hurt worker's coverage.
- You don't have to know what doctor to use at first. If you are hurt, you should seek care at the closest emergency room, urgent care facility, or your doctor's office. Later, you will find out who to use for your continuing care.
- If your state allows it, see your family physician. They know you and can offer the most appropriate level of care for you. Be sure to let the office staff and your doctor know that you are being treated for a work-related injury. Work injuries have to be billed differently and your doctor needs to understand from the very beginning that you will need a certain level of care. Also, be aware that not all doctors will treat work-related illnesses and injuries.
- If you must use a doctor you are not familiar with, be sure that you advocate for the care you need. Many workers' comp doctors work under contract for the insurance company. That doesn't mean they don't provide good care or that they are dishonest but you should stay watchful of the below issues:
- Premature orders to return to work when you are not ready.
- Denial of surgery, medication, diagnostic tests, etc.
- A doctor that is difficult to see, seems rushed or brushes off your concerns.
You have rights when it comes to workers' compensation but many hurt workers fail to understand them. If you encounter any problems with your medical care or anything else about your work-related condition, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer about your problems.