Being injured on the job can be overwhelming and alarming. Your mind may immediately go to how you will afford the medical treatment and care you need and how you will support yourself and your family while you are unable to work while you recover. After an injured worker has been injured on the job, workers’ compensation can help with their medical expenses and other concerns they may have.

Medical care assistance

After you are injured on the job, you should make sure to get the medical care and treatment you need. There are medical treatment guidelines in California for injured workers to be familiar with.

In circumstances of emergency, your employer must ensure you have access to emergency medical treatment. In circumstances of non-emergency care, the claims administrator must authorize treatment within one working day of the worker filing a claim form for workers’ compensation benefits.

How do I know what medical care provider I can see?

 There are several different scenarios which can impact who the medical care provider the workers will see is determined.

  • Predesignation – Prior to an injury, workers with health care coverage for medical conditions that are not related to their work can predesignate a personal physician or medical group prior to the injury. If the worker has predesignated, they can see their personal physician or medical group immediately after being injured.
  • MPN – If the worker’s employer has a medical provider network (MPN), the MPN will treat the worker after they are injured unless the worker has predesignated.
  • HCO – If the worker’s employer or insurer contracts with a health care organization (HCO), the HCO will treat the worker after they are injured unless the worker has predesignated.

Injured workers may be able to change their medical care provider but their options depend on if the worker predesignated their personal physical or is being treated by an MPN or HCO. There may also be certain exceptions to the predesignation requirement for workers to be familiar with.

Help with medical care costs

Your employer is responsible for your medical care costs either through their insurer or directly if the employer is self-insured. It is illegal for a medical care provider or medical facility to bill you if they know your injury is, or may be, work-related.

Injured workers should never receive a medical bill provided the worker has filed a workers’ compensation claim form and that their medical care provider knows the injury they suffered is work-related. The claims administrator is responsible for paying the medical bills.