Our topic today answers some questions related to what happens to health insurance benefits for a person who is injured on the job and cannot return back to work? Related to this issue is also the question of who pays for health insurance while out on workers comp?

During the time that you are out with a work related injury, the goal is to return to your original job or something compatible.  The injured party’s goal is to heal and return to work.  The goal of the insurance company is to return you to the workplace so they are no longer required to issue checks.  Often, those goals are at odds with one another.  During the time that you are out, your health insurance should be maintained by your employer.  However, if you are released from workers’ comp and cannot return to work, the employer is no longer required to pay for your benefits.

As with most things in the workplace, the answers to both of the questions will depend greatly on your employer.  Let’s discuss the question of who pays for health insurance while out on workers comp.  If you cannot return to work, the requirement of payment for your benefits through your employer may change.  Some employers will help and continue to maintain your health insurance and others will require that you pay your health insurance privately either through the workers’ compensation benefits or through any savings that you have. Unfortunately, some employers will  just stop your insurance benefits immediately and will not pay for any of your benefits.  It really does depend on your employer.

Health insurance requires the payment of monthly premiums.  If you are terminated or if you can no longer do your job, certainly you’re going to lose the ability to pay for the health insurance because you’re not working. Your employer may offer you COBRA.  COBRA is a program that allows you to stay on the current insurance plan, however you pay the premiums.  It is much more expensive than the health insurance when you are actively employed with your employer paying some of your insurance. If you are on workers’ compensation, you may be unable to make those payments.

Steps You Can Take

If you are married, check on adding yourself to your spouse’s health insurance plan from their job. You may already be on that plan as secondary insurance so you can look into making that your primary . If you have always used your insurance because it was the better plan, it may be time to look at your spouse’s health care benefits from his/her work.

If you are in this situation, a case review from an experienced workers comp attorney can help.  In many cases, the employer cuts off benefits prematurely when those benefits should still be available.

Ty Wilson specializes in workers comp cases in Georgia.  If you need assistance related to the issue of health insurance while out on a workers comp, or any other issue on your workers comp case, contact our office for a review.