By Clifford B. Sobin, Esq.
The easy answer is that you have the right to medical treatment reasonably related to your injury on the job. Furthermore, once accepted by the workers' compensation insurance carrier, you do not have to pay deductible or co-pay if the medical provider is in Maryland (see my next blog article for out of state treatment issues). Your Treatment rights include payment of:
- Hospital bills
- Doctor bills
- Physical Therapy bills
- Mileage reimbursements for travel to health care providers
- Medically necessary equipment
However, there is also a hard truth. You have the right to claim treatment, but the insurance company may object, delay or ignore your request. Unfortunately, the solution often requires a hearing before the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission. At the hearing, your testimony and medical reports from your doctors are presented for a Commissioner's consideration.
How can this be you might ask? It is because the injured worker always has the burden to prove the treatment requested is:
- related to the injury on the job; and
- reasonably likely to be beneficial.
Therefore your right to medical care under a Workers' Compensation claim is not as extensive as when you make an insurance claim with a medical insurance provider. In that instance, you and/or your employer has paid an insurance premium that entitles you to payments for medical care. Workers' compensation settings are adversarial, your right to payment flows from your injury, not a contract. Nevertheless, the medical protection that flows from an accepted Workers' Compensation claim may be crucial to your recovery and your financial wellbeing.