What happens when an employee pays covered medical expenses?

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2016 | Workers' Compensation

We all know that the purpose of workers’ compensation is to pay certain bills while the employee is unable to work due to a workplace injury. But like many types of insurance claims, the bills don’t stop just because a claim is being processed. This is especially true when there is a dispute between the medical provider and the employer as to who is responsible for paying for what. Because of this, there may be instances where an employee may pay medical bills out of their own pocket.

In these instances, what is an employee to do? This post will attempt to provide some insight.

Arizona law requires that a workers’ comp insurance carrier pay a medical provider for services and procedures conducted after a provider sends an itemized bill. The law also prohibits an employee from paying for such medical services.

However, as we alluded to earlier, some employees will pay medical bills upon receipt in good faith. In these instances, Arizona law requires the workers’ comp carrier or the employer to reimburse the employee provided that he or she produces documentation substantiating the amounts that were paid. The same reasoning applies if an employee’s dependent happens to pay for funeral expenses for a deceased employee who is covered under a workers’ compensation plan.

While the law appears to be straightforward, not every carrier (or employer) follows the law. Because of this, it is always helpful to have your claim reviewed by an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

The preceding is not legal advice.