Will my employer’s workers’ compensation insurance pay for my personal doctor and his choice of treatment?

In some states, an employee filing a worker's compensation claim has the right to see their personal doctor for work related injuries if they make this request to your employer in writing before an injury occurs. In most states, however, an injured worker's doctor choice is limited to a list provided by the employer or its insurance company. If an employee goes to a personal doctor that is not on the list or authorized by the employer, the employee may not be reimbursed by a worker's compensation claim.

Workers Compensation Requirements: Choice of Doctor

Because each state has its own laws regarding your workers compensation benefits, you will need to check the specific laws where you live. The requirements for picking your doctor may even vary based on the policies at work. For example, in Pennsylvania, you may generally pick your own doctor if there is no list at work of qualified doctors; but if there is a posted list, you need to pick from it. It is imperative you check these state and employer-specific rules before you take action in going to a physician (except for getting emergency or life-saving treatment) or your bills may not be covered.

Further, there may also be limitations on when and if you can change your choice of doctors. Some states let you change as often as you desire to do so, while others will limit you to one change in a set amount of time or may mandate that a set period (usually 90 days from the time of the injury) has to pass before a change can be made. 

Obtaining Legal Help

The good news is, as long as you have selected a doctor according to the requirements, 100 percent of your required medical bills and treatments should be covered by workers' compensation. To make sure you take advantage of these benefits and have your bills paid, it is always a good idea to consult with a worker's compensation lawyer for help.