Often, an injured worker will pay for medical bills immediately after an accident takes place. The worker may pay instead of the insurance company for many reasons. But frequently, the worker can receive payment for the expenses from the insurance company later due to workers’ compensation laws.
Why Do Workers Pay Medical Bills Up Front?
Workers may need to pay medical bills in the initial period after an accident. Workers’ compensation benefits do not start for a few days after the injury due to a legally mandated waiting period. The waiting period occurs in case the injury is minor and does not require time off work or significant medical treatment. It also gives the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company time to receive and review the claim for benefits before making any payments.
Unfortunately, this means that many workers will receive bills for treatment from their doctors, even though the treatment should be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance company. Depending on when a worker reports an injury, the bills may come due before the insurance kicks in. This can cause financial hardship if the worker pays the bills or if they go into collections.
Will the Insurance Company Cover the Bills?
To avoid any financial issues from paying workplace injury medical bills, workers should take a few key steps. First, they should report workplace injuries as soon as possible after they occur. This could mean making the report weeks or months afterward if they do not realize that an injury is work-related. No matter how much time has passed, it is worth making the report.
Second, they should keep copies of all medical records and bills related to the workplace injury. In particular, the insurance company will want to see which procedures were performed and how much they cost. Medical records include records of physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, prescriptions, medical supplies purchased, and more.
If You Suffer a Work-Related Injury, Who Pays in the End?
The employer’s insurance company usually pays for the work-related injury. Carrying workers’ comp insurance is a requirement in most states, including Minnesota. If you sustained an injury on-the-job and you qualify to file for worker’s comp benefits, you will probably deal with your company’s insurance company.
The benefits offered under workers’ comp and SSDI do not cover all the expenses connected with injuries sustained at work. Workers’ comp usually pays for medical bills associated with getting you up to a condition of maximum medical improvement and about two-thirds of your lost wages (in most cases), constrained by certain out-of-pocket expenses and weekly maximums.
Therefore, who provides on the job injury pay for an injury sustained at work if workers’ comp or SSDI fall short of fully covering the cost?
If you need more coverage than the maximum coverage afforded by these means, you will have to consult with an attorney to discover any other options available, which usually involve filing a lawsuit against a company (not your employer) that bear responsibility for the injury you suffered at work.
How to Bill Workers’ Comp?
After reporting a workplace injury, injured workers should give the bills to the workers’ compensation insurance company. An adjuster or company representative should reach out or send a letter shortly after the injury report. Workers should be careful what information about an injury they share with the insurance company but passing on the medical bills is a good idea. That way, the insurer knows what the worker spent on medical care and can decide whether to pay the bills up front. If the insurer notifies you that it will not pay your medical bills, you may want to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance.
What Happens to Medical Bills When Workers’ Comp is Denied?
If your workers’ comp claim is denied, you will be responsible for paying the medical bills resulting for your injury. The fact that your claim was denied does not automatically mean you are not legally entitled to compensation. A claim may be denied for various reasons, such as being improperly filed. Be sure to have a workers’ compensation attorney evaluate your claim and reassess what may be wrong with the initial filing.
Third, after reporting a workplace injury, injured workers should give the bills to the workers’ compensation insurance company. An adjuster or company representative should reach out or send a letter shortly after the injury report. Workers should be careful what information about an injury they share with the insurance company, but passing on the medical bills is a good idea. That way, the insurer knows what the worker spent on medical care and can decide whether to pay the bills up front. If the insurer notifies you that it will not pay your medical bills, you may want to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance.
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.