You may have realized it the second you hurt yourself at work, as you may have had spasms in your back or a broken bone that could no longer support any weight. On the other hand, you could have a repetitive motion injury that your doctor uncovered during your annual physical.
Whether you get hurt during a specific incident on the job or your doctor diagnosed you with a work-acquired medical condition, you might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Illinois workers can receive both medical coverage and disability benefits when they have a job-related medical issue that affects their employment and necessitates medical care.
Although you may have private health insurance, pursuing coverage through workers’ compensation is typically a worthwhile decision.
Your insurance policy passes costs on to you
Even if you have an employer-subsidized health insurance policy that only costs you a few hundred dollars a month, you may have noteworthy patient responsibility expenses whenever you make a claim.
Many health insurance policies have a deductible that applies. You have to pay a certain amount with your own money before the insurance company will cover your treatment costs. Typically, deductibles are thousands of dollars, which can put a lot of pressure on your budget when you are already missing work because of your injury.
Beyond that, you may have to pay a copay every time you attend a physical therapy session or pick up a refill of your medication. Finally, many health insurance policies now assess coinsurance charges. They pass on a flat percentage, possibly 20% or even more, of the total medical costs to the patient. Workers’ compensation does not impose any patient responsibility costs, making it a better solution for those with care needs and income limitations because of a job injury.
You may need accommodations or a leave of absence
Beyond the financial benefit of connecting with workers’ compensation medical coverage, filing a claim can help you in other ways. Perhaps you need to take a leave of absence from your job for several weeks to recover from the injury or to prepare for and then recuperate from a surgery. Workers’ compensation can provide you with disability benefits until you return to your job.
Additionally, when you have a workers’ compensation claim and require medical accommodations, it can be easier for you to get your employer to meet you halfway and change your job responsibilities or provide you with assistive technology.
It is often easier to get benefits quickly when you already have an existing claim than it would be to go back and prove that you need accommodations or disability benefits after using your own health insurance for your medical treatment. Learning about the benefits available through Illinois workers’ compensation could inspire you to pursue a claim for your recent injury.