The workers’ compensation system in Minnesota is in place to ensure that employees are not financially burdened as a result of an injury during the course of their work duties. Workers’ compensation helps to offset lost wages and it pays for medical expenses you incur as a result of your work injury, but does that mean any and all medical coverage is completely paid for? We explain what medical care is covered after a work injury in today’s blog.
Will Work Comp Pay All My Medical Bills?
For the most part, it’s safe to assume that any standard care you receive as a result of your injuries will be covered by workers’ compensation. That’s because Minnesota law states that workers’ compensation will cover any medical care that is considered “reasonable and necessary.” Obviously this leads us to examine what is considered reasonable and necessary, because you and your insurance company may differ on what you believe is reasonable and necessary.
There is no black and white definition of what constitutes reasonable and necessary, but at the most basic level, you are entitled to receive medical care from a licensed medical provider. Additionally, any standard treatments that they recommend will most likely be covered by your employer’s insurance company. When we say standard, we’re talking about conventional Western medicine treatments to common ailments. Things like:
- Assistive Devices (cane, walker, braces, etc.)
- Physical Therapy
- Corticosteroid Injections
As long as the above treatments are recommended by your treating physician, the insurance company will likely cover the complete cost. If you are uncertain if they’ll cover it, you can reach out and confirm that the treatment is considered reasonable and necessary, or better yet, you can have your lawyer make sure the insurance company understands why the care is reasonable and necessary.
If the insurance company is questioning whether or not a type of care is reasonable or necessary, they may require you to seek a second opinion with an independent medical specialist. If they confirm the findings of your initial physician, the care will be covered. If they believe a different treatment route is best, you can either follow those care guidelines or contest the new findings with the help of your lawyer.
We’re speaking in generalities here, because we’ve seen different types of care be approved and denied, but in many instances, non-traditional or alternative treatments are not typically fully covered by insurance. Treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy, aromatherapy or meditation sessions aren’t usually covered by an insurance company because the belief is that other treatments will be more effective, and the insurance company wants you to get back to full health as quickly as possible, which is why more standard and proven techniques are fully covered. Chiropractor treatments sometimes aren’t initially covered either unless the injured party and their lawyer make a clear and convincing case as to their merits in the recovery process, so don’t just assume that any care that involves a doctor will be covered.
If you have questions about whether or not your medical care will be covered, or you want a lawyer by your side who will prove that the care you’re pursuing is both reasonable and necessary, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today.