If you have employer-funded health insurance, you may wonder if it will affect your workers’ compensation case. It might, though your health information with the insurer is not necessarily freely available to your employer.
Can Your Employer Ask Your Health Insurer for Information About You?
When you file a workers’ compensation case because of a workplace injury, you give up some of your right to privacy of medical information. The workers’ compensation insurance company and your employer can request and receive medical records that are reasonably related to your current injury. Not all records are necessarily relevant – records about a 20-year old injury to your arm are probably not relevant in your current claim for a leg injury, for example.
Further, just because your employer pays for your health insurance does not give the employer automatic access to your health information. Your employer or the insurance company still has to make an affirmative request for your records, and they have to notify you of the request.
What If You Use the Health Insurance to Pay for Healthcare While You Fight for Benefits?
If the insurance company initially denies your claim for workers’ compensation benefits and you have to file a claim petition, you probably are receiving healthcare through your insurance in the meantime. While your employer does not have direct access to your records just because you have health insurance through the employer, it will be simpler for your employer or the workers’ comp insurer to find your bills and treatment records.
If you did not have employer-provided health insurance, your treatment records and bills would still be requested in your workers’ comp case. The workers’ comp insurer always wants to know if you sought treatment immediately, which treatment you received, if it was reasonable and necessary for your injury, and exactly how much money was spent.
Can Your Employer Rescind Your Insurance Coverage If You File for Workers’ Comp?
You may be concerned that your employer will rescind your insurance coverage if you seek workers’ compensation benefits. Your use of the insurance to pay for medical expenses while you pursue your case could drive up costs for your employer and increase premiums for everyone. However, rescinding your coverage could be viewed as retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation case. Retaliation is illegal, so if you feel that your employer ended your insurance just because you made a claim, talk to a lawyer today.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.