When you get injured on the job and are forced to take time off, you may be worried about paying health insurance while on workers’ compensation. An injury can disrupt many parts of life, and you undoubtedly feel worried about paying your monthly bills while you’re out of work. Your medical bills may be mounting as well if you’ve received extensive treatment for your injury.
Unfortunately, if you have trouble paying for health insurance while on workers’ comp in PA, your employer is not required to assist you. It’s possible for you to lose coverage during your time off work. Here are the details.
Who Pays for My Health Insurance While I’m on Workers’ Comp?
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers with a certain number of employees are required to give their workers unpaid time off for up to 12 weeks to tend to family medical issues. This act may include time you need off for your injury. In addition, you can collect workers’ compensation benefits, which are separate. Even if you have FMLA, you’ll become responsible for the monthly premium payments if you weren’t already.
While you’re on FMLA, your employer cannot cancel your insurance. For most workers in Pennsylvania that are not part of a Union or large employer with generous benefits, you’ll be in charge of paying any premiums that develop after that. In many cases, once this 12-week period ends, your employer is no longer required to cover you unless you have some type of collective bargaining agreement in place that protects your right to health insurance. Such a setup is not common.
Can I Lose My Health Insurance Benefits While on Workers’ Comp?
Unless you are in a Union that requires ongoing health insurance, or work for an employer with very generous benefits, your employer can terminate your health insurance after a 12-week period if you qualify for FMLA, or before that if your company is too small for FMLA. You’ll receive a COBRA notice, which informs you that you have the option of paying to stay on the plan for a certain number of months following your termination of benefits. Those payments will all come out of your pocket.
Many people feel overwhelmed at learning that their health insurance benefits could go away or change in any way. Many injured workers need to get physical therapy in addition to going to doctors’ appointments. Workers’ compensation will pay for some medical expenses, but you may still find yourself wondering how you can cover your bills. Workers’ compensation can cover some of the wages lost. Losing insurance can feel like a negative development to many people who are already struggling to pay their medical bills following an injury.
If you’re in this situation or anything like it, your best strategy would be to consult with an attorney who can advise you about where to go from here. We can answer all your questions about health insurance while on workers’ compensation in PA. We specialize in this area and handle only workers’ compensation cases. Contact Frommer D’Amico today to discuss your unique situation. You can reach us at 717-400-1000 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch.
Joe D’Amico has more than 20 years of experience fighting for injured workers. He is Certified as an Expert in Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Joe is one of the very few Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys who have obtained a recovery in excess of $1.5 million for an injured worker.
Reviewed by Joe D’Amico.