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What health care benefits does workers' compensation cover?

If a workers' compensation claim is accepted in Minnesota, the injured worker will receive payment for all reasonable medical expenses that are incurred as a result of the workplace injury. The worker may also be reimbursed for medication that is prescribed during the course of medical treatment. Gas mileage that is used to drive to and from medical appointments may also be reimbursed.

In most cases, injured workers may select a health care provider of their choice. However, there are some employers that take care of their workers' compensation health care needs using a certified managed care plan. When this is the case, the injured employee must receive treatment from a certified health care provider that is part of the managed care plan. If the employer contracts with a network that has not been certified, the employee is not obligated to choose a doctor from that network.

An employee who wishes to receive supplementary treatment from unlicensed or alternative health care providers will not be reimbursed for these expenses through workers' compensation insurance. Before any non-emergency hospitalizations or surgery, the health care provider must notify the insurer. The insurer is also entitled to ask for a second opinion about certain health care treatments, but the insurer would be required to cover the cost of the second opinion.

Those who have suffered from an injury on the job may be interested to learn what health care benefits their workers' compensation insurance will cover. Because this type of injury may require specialized treatment, the injured worker may want to discuss their case with a lawyer to learn what benefits they are entitled to receive or how further compensation may be sought.

Source: Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry, "An employee’s guide to the Minnesota workers’ compensation system", October 13, 2014

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