Q: I got hurt at work, and my boss just told me to put my bills in through my health insurance because he does not want his rates for his worker's comp insurance coverage to go up. Can I do this?
A:The short answer to this is that, yes, you can go along with his plan, but it is a really bad idea to go along with it.
When you are hurt on the job, you are entitled to three basic benefits: payment of your medical expenses, payment of two thirds of your average weekly wage while you are off work (known as TTD), and a lump sum for permanency associated with your injury.
Because work-related injuries are covered by worker's compensation, most health insurance policies (including the one through your employer) exclude care for work-related injuries from coverage. In other words, your health insurance does not cover work related injuries. After all, from your health insurer's perspective, why should they pay a bill that another insurance company has to pay?
The net result of the bill not being submitted to the proper insurance is that there will be long delays in the payment, which puts you at risk for being put into collection and may give the worker's compensation insurer grounds for disputing the validity of your claim.
I tell people who call my office asking about this scenario that when your employer asks you to do this, it does not bode well for them treating you in a fair and honorable way down the road. After all, your employer is willing to cheat your health insurer to save him a few bucks, what is he going to do with you?