Massachusetts Workers' Compensation will Pay Medical BillsIf you are hurt on the job in Massachusetts and require medical treatment, you may be concerned about how your medical bills will be paid. Aside from workers’ concerns about replacing lost wages if a work accident prevents them from returning to work, another major fear is how the high cost of medical treatment will be covered. This is a very valid concern, especially for a worker who is not able to return to work and earn their wages. When a worker is hurt on the job and out of work, they are unable to earn their pay. Despite this, our normal, monthly household bills don’t stop because we are injured at work and cannot return to earn our pay. Expensive medical bills added to our regular monthly bills can wreak financial havoc on our lives. However, there is good news.

In Massachusetts, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides that if a worker is injured on the job, he or she is eligible for medical benefits. These medical benefits will cover the cost and expenses of treatment of work-related injuries.

Under the laws in Massachusetts, workers’ compensation insurance will cover treatment that is reasonable, medically necessary, and causally related to the work injury. (See Massachusetts General Laws c. 152 §§ 13 and 30).  The laws in Massachusetts require the insurance company to pay all the injured employee’s medical bills and to continue to do so as long as the treatment in necessary. Common medical bills that are typically paid include treatment for: emergency room visits, doctor’s appointments, prescription medications, x-rays, surgical procedures, etc… The maximum amount providers can charge is set by the state. The insurance company will pay the medical providers directly, so there is usually no need for you to directly deal with medical bills from the providers. 

Occasionally, however, medical bills go unpaid or may be billed directly to the injured worker. This often happens with treatment immediately following a work accident, such as ambulance transport or emergency department bills because these bills are incurred before the medical providers know who the workers’ compensation carrier is and where to send the bill. Keep an eye out for any unpaid bills and do not ignore them. Sometimes, if they go unpaid, the provider may send them to collections. Our Framingham workers’ compensation lawyers routinely deal with these situations. We advise our clients to send us the medical bills and our law office will coordinate with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, their adjusters, and the medical providers to have them addressed and covered.

Though the laws in Massachusetts obligate workers’ compensation to pay all reasonable and related medical bills, some insurance companies will, sometimes, deny payment of these bills or authorization for further medical treatment for various reasons.  If an insurance company refuses to pay for medical treatment that you and your doctor may request, you have the ability to file a claim with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents and seek a court order for the insurance company to pay. 

Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury lawyer & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.