When you are in the process of seeking workers’ compensation benefits, you may find that the insurer won’t pay you back for medical costs. The refusal could happen when you first apply for benefits or later on when you need more medical services. You have a few routes to recovering the medical costs, including petitioning to appeal the benefits denial and seeking reimbursement from your personal health insurance.
Petitioning to Appeal the Benefits Denial
Again, a workers’ compensation insurance company can deny benefits, including payment of medical costs, at any stage in the workers’ comp process. If you have just reported your injury, the denial is likely part of an overall denial of benefits. If you have been receiving some workers’ compensation benefits already, the insurer may be denying a specific request for surgery or medication. You should have received a notice from the insurer explaining the basis for the denial. But a denial is not the last step in the process.
You can appeal an initial denial of benefits by filing a Claim Petition with the Department of Labor and Industry. Your Claim Petition must have a doctor’s report attached. If you want to get medical costs paid, the report should support your claim of a work-related injury. In addition, you should gather all medical bills that you have paid out of pocket. The Claim Petition requires you to list all medical costs that you seek from the insurance company. Many injured workers seek legal help to complete Claim Petitions, because an experienced ally may boost your chances of winning the benefits.
Other Methods of Paying the Medical Costs
While you wait for the workers’ compensation process to decide your claim, you may have pressing medical bills to pay. Not paying them can even impact your credit score or lead to collections attempts. Even though you believe that the workers’ compensation insurance company should pay the bills, you may need to pay them out of pocket in the meantime. Alternatively, your personal health insurance might cover the bills.
If you haven’t already spoken to your health insurance company, check in now to see if you can get those medical costs paid. Your insurance may cover future care as well. If you win your workers’ compensation case, then the workers’ comp insurance company can pay back your health insurance company.
Finally, some Minnesotans may qualify for federal medical care programs such as Medicare or Medicaid. If you are not working, disabled, or have a low income, you could look into having your medical costs covered by one of these programs.
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.