Workers compensation medical benefits
How your medical expenses are covered under Michigan work comp and what to do if your employer gives you the run around
Many injured workers don’t realize that all of their medical expenses are covered under Michigan workers compensation. Below, you’ll find helpful advice about receiving your medical benefits.
For help from one of our attorneys now, call (855) 221-2667, or you can fill out our free contact form. There’s no cost or obligation, and we can ensure that your medical expenses are covered.
- What workers compensation benefits can I receive?
- Who pays for my medical care if I’m hurt at work?
- How long is my medical care covered under work comp?
- What kind of care does workers compensation medical benefits cover?
- What if my home or car needs to be modified because of my work injury?
- What if I cannot take care of myself because of my injury?
- Is medical care for occupational diseases covered under workers comp?
- What if my employer tells me to use my own health insurance?
- Can I choose my own doctor?
- What if my employer/insurance company disputes my medical expenses?
- Why have I been assigned a nurse case manager?
Q. What workers compensation benefits can I receive?
A. If you are injured in the course and scope of your employment, you are entitled to specific workers compensation benefits, including lost wages, medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation.
Workers compensation is a compromise between employee and employer interests. You don’t have to prove negligence to get compensation, but you are limited in what benefits you can receive.
Pain and suffering is not available under Michigan workers compensation. This might seem like an unfair system, but the amount of benefits paid under workers compensation in Michigan can be substantial.
Q. Who pays for my medical care if I’m hurt at work?
A. One of the most important benefits under workers compensation is access to medical care. Your employer or its workers compensation insurance company is responsible for paying all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for your work-related injury.
Q. What kind of care does workers compensation medical benefits cover?
A. Workers compensation medical benefits can include visits to the doctor, surgery, hospital stays, prescription medication and physical therapy. It can also include dental care, prosthetics, eyeglasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs and other appliances necessary to cure or relieve the effects of your work injury.
Whatever medical care is reasonable and necessary must be paid under workers compensation.
Q. What if my home or car needs to be modified because of my work injury?
A. With workers compensation medical benefits, you can even get home and automobile modifications. These are changes to your home and/or vehicle to accommodate your injury or disability.
Sometimes it’s cheaper for an insurance company to purchase a new home for you that is handicap accessible than modify your existing residence. But the law only requires changes to a vehicle, rather than purchasing a new vehicle.
Q. What if I cannot take care of myself because of my injury?
A. Some people are so badly injured at work that they cannot care for themselves. When that situation arises, workers compensation medical benefits provide attendant care. With attendant care (also called nursing services), your employer or its insurance company must pay the cost of a professional nurse or a semiskilled attendant to help you with activities of daily living. This could include wound care, help with mobility, bathing, using the bathroom, eating, dressing and taking medications.
You will usually need to have a prescription for attendant care written by your doctor to receive this benefit.
Your family members can receive pay for up to 56 hours per week for providing attendant care. A spouse, brother, sister, child, parent or any combination of these people can receive payment directly from workers compensation. A family member is generally entitled to the same hourly rate as a professional and should be paid accordingly. If you need more than 56 hours, workers compensation must pay for a professional.
Q. Is medical care for occupational diseases covered under workers comp?
A. Occupational diseases are also covered under workers compensation. These are illnesses that are directly related to your work. Medical treatment is available for injuries caused by repetitive work activities, exposure to chemicals, or from repeated bending and lifting.
Q. What if my employer tells me to use my own health insurance?
A. Many employers will refuse to take responsibility for an injury and tell you to use your own health insurance. This is not correct and can cost you significant money in the form of deductibles and co-pays.
You should not owe any money for treatment under workers compensation.
If you are being told that you must use your own insurance for your at-work injury, it’s important that you contact a workers compensation lawyer to discuss your rights. Call us at (855) 221-2667.
After 10 days from the commencement of medical treatment, you have the right to choose your own doctor.
Your employer can recommend a doctor, but you have the right to choose for yourself. Be careful treating with doctors recommended by your employer or the insurance company because of a potential conflict of interest. You want a doctor who has your best interest in mind.
Q. What if my employer/insurance company disputes my medical expenses?
A. Employers or insurance companies will often dispute what is reasonable and necessary medical treatment. They may tell you that your injury is not work-related or that you do not need any more medical care.
Know that you cannot be forced to follow a specific plan of treatment or to use their doctors. If your employer or insurance company is giving you a hard time about covering your work-related medical expenses, it’s best to call a workers compensation lawyer to protect your rights.
Q. Why have I been assigned a nurse case manager?
A. The workers compensation law states that nurse case manager is hired by your employer or insurance company to help you get better. But this is not always the case. These nurse case managers are really hired to control medical costs for the insurance companies.
Nurse case managers are usually not on your side, and they will try to control your medical treatment.
You have the right to privacy in the examination room and to let your doctor make appropriate medical decisions.
Have questions about your workers compensation medical benefits?
Even if you’re currently being paid workers compensation medical benefits, it’s always a good idea to have your claim reviewed. Our work comp lawyers can make sure you’re receiving the all of the benefits you’re entitled under the law, and we can protect you when your employer or insurance company does not have your best interest in mind.
Call us at (855) 221-2667, or fill out our free contact form. The call is free and the advice is free.