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Health insurance and workplace injuries: What happens on leave?

Although humans may want the ability to predict the future, life is full of uncertainty. In order to minimize the anxiety caused by unpredictability, people may seek various forms of insurance.

In many cases, employment includes the benefits of medical and workers' compensation insurance -- both of which can provide coverage in the wake of sudden health-related concerns. Of course, this provides relief, but doesn't completely eliminate concerns or questions that workers might have.

After suffering an on-the-job injury, there's a strong chance that employer-provided workers' compensation will cover the related medical expenses. However, the injury may be serious enough to necessitate medical leave from work. In this situation, a workers' comp policy could also cover a portion of lost wages.

Although workers' compensation insurance can come through in the clutch after suffering a workplace injury, it may not be as clear what happens to a person's regular health insurance policy. After all, employees -- or their loved ones -- could be confronted with health issues unrelated to the workplace accident. In this situation, it might be necessary to have additional medical coverage to make ends meet.

The unfortunate reality is that employers may not maintain existing health insurance while a worker is out on leave -- even if it is due to a workplace injury. Coverage may be scaled back or employees may need to pay their own premiums, which could create issues.

One distinction to make is that absences that fall under the Family and Medical Leave Act include some protections for workers. Namely, workers are guaranteed to receive health insurance for at least 12 weeks. Beyond that point, the situation may not be as clear.

Dealing with insurers is rarely an easy task. Not only that, but insurance companies do not always have the best interests of policyholders in mind. In this case, it may be necessary for injured workers to seek assistance to determine what kind of coverage they are supposed to have while on leave. Our firm has experience dealing with difficult workplace injury cases and can provide answers in the midst of a challenging time.

To find out more about workers' compensation and medical leave, please visit our health insurance issues page.

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2000 S. Colorado Blvd. No. 2-740
Denver, CO 80222

Phone: 720-759-3064
Fax: 720-724-2100
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