We already know how much of a blessing the workers’ compensation benefits can be, especially for those who have suffered injuries during the course of their jobs. We know that this worker’s compensation can be the lifeline ensuring the survival of the worker, and paying for his treatment while he recovers from the injuries, and regains full fitness.
However, because the worker is unable to work while he is injured, several issues may arise as to his many financial commitments. One such question is whether or not the injured worker can continue to pay his insurance premiums, or whether he stands the risk of losing his health insurance.
Naturally, many people ask questions about what will happen once they file for a workers’ compensation claim. Let us now answer that question in the next paragraphs:
Can I Lose My Health Insurance While on Compensation?
First of all, let us make it clear that filing a worker’s compensation benefits claim does not mean that you are no longer an employee working with your employer. That means your employment relationship with your employer should remain the same despite the fact that you have filed a workers’ compensation claim to help sustain yourself after an injury sustained on the job.
Although you are pursuing a claim, you are still an employee of the employer and you are still entitled to receive the benefits in the same manner and form that you have been receiving before. That means you should pay the same health insurance premiums if any, that you have been paying before, while your employer should continue to pay their portion of your health insurance as they were doing before the injury occurred.
Who pays my Health Insurance while on Workers Compensation in California?
This part is rather tricky: If you usually contribute to your health insurance premium through payroll deduction, then you may find that your employer may not automatically notify you that you must now make plans to continue making your contributions manually in order to maintain your health insurance.
Some workers do not make any contributions to their health insurance schemes; it is handled completely by their employer. In that case, they have nothing to worry about, as the health insurance premium payments should continue to be made without any hitches.
Sometimes, however, an employer may decide to reduce your workload thereby accommodating your present state of having work restrictions. In that case, you will still maintain your health insurance payments without any changes at all.
But if your authorized treating provider writes you are completely unable to perform any work for the time being, or your employer decides that he is unable to accommodate your work restrictions, you will be placed out of work. In that case, you will stop receiving your regular paycheck and you should begin receiving weekly workers’ compensation checks. The weekly payments will come from your employer’s designated workers’ compensation insurance company.
A Note of Caution:
In most cases, a worker’s health insurance premiums are contributed by both parties: the worker and his employer. However, when the worker gets injured and is unable to work, the employer may continue to make health insurance payments for the worker, but the worker may not make the payments as he is supposed to. Sometimes, the result is that the worker’s health insurance may end up being canceled before the worker even knows that anything is wrong.
In order to avoid this, the worker must talk to his employer. This is to find out if there is a need to send in a check either directly to the insurance company, or via the employer. It is important to do this as soon as possible to avoid going behind on payments, which may well lead to the termination of the contract.
Unfortunately, however, it is still possible for a worker to be fired by the employer even when he has an open workers’ compensation case. If you are terminated from the job you can expect your health insurance benefits to be terminated in the same way that it would end for a healthy worker whose employment was terminated.
The key takeaway here is that it is very important to contact your employer as soon as you find yourself injured and unable to work, so as to find out whether you need to take any action to ensure the continuation of your health insurance policy. Please do not assume that your worker compensation check covers your health insurance premiums; if your assumption is wrong, the health insurance will be canceled before you can do anything about it.