There are a few things that every worker should know about getting medical care after a work accident in Illinois:
- Your employer or their worker’s compensation carrier is responsible for payment of all related medical expenses.
- It does not matter whether you have health insurance or not. If you do not have health insurance, your bills are paid through worker’s compensation insurance, which is a different kind of insurance than worker’s compensation insurance. Every employer in the State of Illinois is required to either have insurance or a certificate of self-insurance.
- Your health insurance will not cover work-related injuries. “Putting it through health insurance” may make your employer feel better about not having to make a claim on his worker’s comp coverage, but every health insurance policy I have seen excludes work injuries from coverage. Health insurers known that your employer has to pay for a work injury, so they exclude it from coverage.
- You have a right to see your own doctor and receive care from your own doctor. You have a right to physician choice in Illinois worker’s compensation cases up to two times.
- Any time you choose a doctor and he refers you to another doctor, that still counts as a single choice.
- You cannot be required to receive care at the company clinic or from the company doctor, but you may be required to see the company doctor for an “independent medical examination.” Most often, “independent medical examinations” are nothing but a pretext for cutting off worker’s compensation benefits. Being sent for an “IME” is a sign of bad things to come, and is one of the times that we suggest that you should be hiring an experienced Chicago worker’s compensation lawyer.