After you get hurt on the job, you will likely require medical evaluation and then treatment. Sometimes, all you need is for a doctor to x-ray your arm and set a broken bone. Other times, you may require surgery and then months of physical therapy to fully recover from your injury.
Workers who get hurt on the job in California may think that the best option is to make a claim against their health insurance, but workers’ compensation is often the better choice for those dealing with a work-acquired medical condition.
Why is workers’ compensation coverage better than making use of your personal health care coverage?
The coverage is more complete
When it comes to medical expenses, the superiority of workers’ compensation is clear. The typical health insurance policy passes numerous costs on to the policyholder.
You likely have to pay thousands of dollars to meet a deductible before insurance will pay for your treatment. You will have to pay a copay every time you go to an appointment or pick up a prescription. The insurance company may even send you a bill for coinsurance, which is a flat percentage of the total cost of your medical care.
You could end up responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in treatment costs all because you got hurt at work. Workers’ compensation will theoretically cover the full cost of your necessary medical care until you reach maximum medical improvement. Even then, you can still receive health benefits for lingering symptoms or recurring symptoms that flare up again in the future.
Secondary protections are also valuable for workers
Once you make a claim and qualify for medical benefits, you will have an easier time securing stability benefits if you need to take a leave of absence or move to a lower-paid position because of your injury. Workers’ compensation can pay you for missed wages and reduced earning potential. In some cases, you may even receive job training or placement support.
Workers who ask for benefits will also be in a better position to seek medical accommodations from their employers. Work-from-home arrangements or even changed job duties could help you continue working instead of taking an extended leave of absence.
Learning more about the available benefits may help you realize that filing a workers’ compensation claim is worthwhile.