NJ Workers' Comp Medical Benefits: Ensuring Care & Recovery
In the aftermath of a work-related injury or illness, the paramount concern is receiving the right medical care to foster a swift recovery. New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system emphasizes this by providing medical benefits to injured employees.
Scope of Coverage: Medical Benefits cover all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospitalization services related to the work injury. The aim is to restore the injured worker to their physical state before the injury to the extent medically possible.
Employer’s Right to Choose the Provider: In New Jersey, unless it’s an emergency, the employer or their insurance carrier has the right to designate the treating physician. If an injured worker seeks treatment outside of this designation without approval, the injured worker might be responsible for the medical costs.
No Out-of-Pocket Costs: When treated by the designated or approved physician, the injured worker should not have any out-of-pocket expenses. The employer’s insurance carrier pays the medical bills directly.
Consider Linda, a schoolteacher who developed respiratory issues due to mold exposure in her classroom. Her school’s insurance carrier directed her to a pulmonologist specializing in occupational illnesses. Linda’s treatments, medications, and subsequent therapy sessions were all covered under Medical Benefits without her incurring any personal costs.
While your employer or insurance provider may dictate which physician treats you, it’s essential to be proactive in your recovery. Communicate openly with the designated medical provider, ensuring they fully know your symptoms and concerns. If you feel your treatment isn’t adequate or if there are disputes about medical coverage, it’s wise to consult with a knowledgeable New Jersey work injury attorney to understand and uphold your rights.