If you’re a business owner or are considering opening a business, you’ve probably heard of workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance provides coverage for your employees if they get sick or injured on the job. It’s critical to understand the specific coverages provided by workers’ compensation insurance. Not only does workers’ comp cover your employee’s medical expenses, but it also helps protect you. What does workers comp cover? Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know below.
Expenses Covered by Workers Comp Insurance
Workers’ compensation helps cover expenses that occur if one of your employees gets sick or injured as a result of their job. What do these expenses include, and is there anything that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover? Here’s what you need to know.
Workers’ compensation benefits help cover any medical expenses of an employee if they get injured or sick on the job. This can include initial emergency room visits, diagnosis of injuries or illness, medical treatment, doctor’s appointments, and more.
Medications and Prescriptions
Without coverage, the cost of medication can add up. Luckily, workers’ comp coverage helps pay for expenses, even long after the injury or illness occurs.
For instance, workers’ comp covers medications and prescriptions for however long they’re needed. This can include prescription pain medications, antibiotics, prescribed therapy, and anything else deemed necessary by your employee’s medical provider.
Travel Expenses for Medical Appointments
If an employee has to make repeated trips to medical appointments, recovery or post-op check ups, travel to physical therapy, or go to the chiropractor, workers’ compensation helps cover these expenses.
This can include gas mileage to and from doctor’s appointments or payment for other transportation there and back.
Workers’ compensation also covers any emergency transportation, such as an ambulance ride or airlift expenses.
Physical Therapy & Recovery
When considering what workers’ comp covers, it’s important to look beyond initial care. Workers’ compensation also helps cover physical therapy and recovery costs. This includes visits to the chiropractor, physical therapy sessions, prescribed exercise costs, and more.
Loss of Wages
When an employee sustains an injury or incurs an illness due to their job, they’re often out of work for a few weeks minimum. In severe cases, employees can be out of work for months before they’ve returned to pre-accident condition.
In this case, workers’ compensation covers any lost wages for your employees. If an employee breaks their leg from a fall and can’t return to work for the recommended six to eight weeks of healing time, workers’ comp will cover any lost wages during this time.
Typically emotional or mental distress is not covered and is very difficult to prove. It’s also extremely difficult to compensate. This varies from state to state but is the general position. Sometimes there can be coverage for mental health if the injury that occurred would lead to this.
On the other hand, it’s extremely difficult to say work is stressful and causes emotional distress. In this case, workers comp coverage is usually a no-go and is immediately declined. A mental injury is hard to prove compared to a physical injury.
Permanent Disability Compensation & Ongoing Costs of Care
In some cases, a work-related injury can result in permanent disability. This means an employee may never return to pre-accident condition, no matter how much surgery, physical therapy, and medication are prescribed.
If this occurs, workers’ comp provides coverage for this. Many states have specific legislation surrounding how much monetary coverage should be awarded, but this is typically a one-time monetary compensation.
If an employee needs ongoing care, workers’ comp will cover expenses for lifelong injury and care. For example, if an employee was electrocuted on the job, sustained severe brain damage, and never fully returned to their pre-accident mental state, workers’ comp would cover expenses for live-in care and ongoing medical treatment.
If an employee sustains an injury or illness that results in death, workers’ comp will also cover funeral expenses and provide death benefits.
Protect Your Company with Direct Work Comp
Workers’ comp is one of the most essential types of business insurance to have. In fact, most states will require you to have the proper coverage in order to run your business. Our team of experts can help you navigate the facets of workers’ compensation, what it covers, and how you can streamline your process to help your company thrive. Get an instant quote today!