Does Health Insurance Cover Work Related Injuries?

May 23, 2018

What is the difference between Health Insurance and Workers Comp Insurance?

Health insurance covers injuries or illnesses that happen off the job, but most employers are required to have workers compensation insurance to cover their employers when an illness or injury happens at work. No matter how safety-conscious a company is, injuries sometimes happen at work. If you run a business, it’s important to understand the difference between workers comp insurance and health insurance.

Health insurance covers preventative care as well as illnesses and injuries regardless of the cause. Health insurance pays for some of the costs of treating an injury or an illness, with some portion of the cost paid for by the patients, usually in the form of a co-payment or a deductible.

Workers compensation insurance covers not only the cost of the medical care related to the work-related injury or illness, but also a portion of the worker’s wages.

What happens to someone who gets injured or ill on the job?

Let’s face it – sometimes people get injured or ill at work. If a worker is injured during the course of their work duties, or if they become ill due to their job, their condition may be considered to be work-related. In these cases, the employer may be required by law to pay for the worker’s medical care as well as part of the wages they would have been paid if they had been able to work.
Employees who cannot work because they were injured or became ill on the job are entitled to a percentage of their normal compensation. This expense is paid by workers compensation insurance as part of the claim.

Workers Compensation Insurance: the employer’s perspective

As an employer, it may seem that workers compensation insurance is an expense you’d rather not incur. If you also provide health insurance for your employees, it may feel as though you’re paying twice. But there are solid reasons why you need this important coverage.

  • You are responsible for the costs associated with an employee’s work-related illness or injury, whether you are insured or not.
  • A workers compensation claim, regardless of whether it is covered by insurance or not, includes replacing a percentage of the wages of an employee who cannot work due to their illness or injury. Your employee can focus on recovering and getting back to work rather than worrying about supporting their family.
  • You could be fined by the state if you have employees and do not have workers compensation insurance.
  • You could self-insure for workers compensation, but you would be required to show significant financial resources to cover any potential claims.

Should employers consider other forms of insurance?

For job-related illnesses and injuries, workers compensation insurance provides important protection for employees. In most states, employers are required to carry workers compensation insurance coverage – unless they self-insure – if they have even one employee.  In addition to workers compensation insurance, business owners should consider these other forms of business protection.

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