If you get hurt on the job in Pennsylvania, you will likely feel deeply grateful for your workers’ compensation coverage. Your employer should pay for a policy that will provide you with disability pay and medical coverage.
Unlike your personal health insurance policy, workers’ compensation coverage will not leave you with any of the expenses from your care. Even if you need surgery or months of physical therapy, you will not have to pay out of pocket for that treatment.
Some people choose not to file a workers’ compensation claim because they don’t understand the benefits of doing so or they don’t understand how the program works. They might think that they can only see a company doctor and would rather use their own insurance to see a doctor they know and trust. Does your employer get to choose your doctor for a workers’ compensation claim?
Employees have the right to choose in Pennsylvania
The laws governing workers’ compensation benefits are quite clear. An employee can select the physician who provides their treatment. Typically, you can choose any doctor you trust, but your employer can take steps to limit your options.
If they have posted a list of six or more participating physicians who cooperate with the company and its insurance plan, you may need to select your doctor from that list. However, even if they can limit your selections, your employer does not get to choose who provides your care.
What if you don’t agree with the doctor?
Patients aren’t always happy about the treatment recommended by the doctor overseeing their workers’ compensation claims. If they want a second opinion, they may need to pay out of pocket or use their health insurance policy for that appointment.
The only time that workers’ compensation guarantees coverage for a second opinion is when the doctor providing your care recommends a surgery. In that scenario, you can ask for a second opinion.
When you understand your right to choose a doctor and to ask for a second opinion when you don’t want to undergo surgery, you will have an easier time getting the right support for your work-related medical issue. Learning about the rules that govern workers’ compensation medical benefits will help you make the most of the coverage available to you.