In addition to lost wages, workers’ compensation in Massachusetts is designed to compensate employees who are injured at work for medical expenses related to the injury or work-related illness.Who Qualifies for Medical Benefits in a Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Pursuant to the Executive Office for Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD), workers’ compensation medical benefits are available to anyone who is injured on the job or suffers from a work-related illness that requires medical attention.
A work related-illness can come in many forms and may result from occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals or other toxins, as well as viruses and bacteria in certain situations. At the Law Office of Jeffery S. Glassman, LLC, one of the typical workplace illnesses we deal with is mesothelioma. In almost all cases, mesothelioma is related to asbestos exposure.
When someone breathes asbestos dust, fibers can become lodged in a layer of tissue know as the mesothelium. In time, those fibers can metastasize into a deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other respiratory illness.
For other occupational illnesses, coverage will depend on whether the employee is regularly expected to come into contact with a particular virus or bacteria and what steps the employer has taken to protect a worker. A recent example of this is the case of tuberculosis, which is becoming more prevalent in urban areas throughout the county.What are Medical Benefits?
Employees who are injured or become ill due to their work are entitled to compensation for adequate and reasonable medical care, cost of prescriptions, and mileage reimbursement for traveling to and from a healthcare provider.Can Employees Receiving Medical Benefits Choose Their Own Doctor?
Under EOLWD regulations and Massachusetts Law, the employer has a right to designate where the employee will be treated, in accordance with their insurance provider’s coverage.
However, once initial treatment is complete, the injured worker may be entitled to workers’ compensation at a healthcare provider of his or her own choosing, but employers can still require injured workers to be evaluated by a doctor of employer’s choosing from time to time.
One of the questions our workers’ compensation attorneys are often asked is if injured workers will be required to pay out-of-pocket for medical bills and then later get reimbursed from a medical benefits award. You should not be required to do so. Under Massachusetts workers’ compensation law, employer’s insurance company is required to give injured workers an insurance card with a claim number and contact info on the card. The injured worker can then present this medical benefits card to the healthcare provider they are seeing, and that provider can directly bill the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Many injured workers ask for how long they will receive workers’ compensation medical benefits. Under Massachusetts’s law, an injured worker may receive medical benefits for as long as medical services are needed.
If you are injured on the job in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers' compensation claim: 1-(617) 367-2900.Work Injury Help -- Free Consultation