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Why the ObamaCare Decision Matters for Workers’ Compensation Cases

June 25, 2015

How ObamaCare Impacts Workers’ Compensation

Obama Care and Workers' Compensation

ObamaCare makes a big difference for uninsured people injured at work.

As I was sitting here writing a blog post on recent Supreme Court decisions (I will link to it when it is finished) I got a call from Jim Mogul. Jim runs Lowenthal & Abrams’ Workers’ Compensation department. Jim wanted to know if I knew about the ObamaCare decision. When I said I did, he asked me if I would write a blog post on why ObamaCare matters for people injured at work. I said, of course I will, but first, tell me why it matters from your perspective, so I can educate people properly. We spoke for several moments, and now, as a result, I am ready to explain to you why ObamaCare matters for people injured at work.

First, I would like to tell you, I like Jim very  much, not only because he is a great lawyer, but he really cares about his clients. This call and his request are measures of the fact that he is constantly thinking about the well-being of his clients. He wanted to make certain that the public understands why ObamaCare helps injured workers who couldn’t otherwise get medical care.

ObamaCare Protects Injured Workers

Catch-22 and Workers' Comp

Without health insurance, when a claim is denied, employees find themselves in a catch-22

When you are injured at work, if your employer’s insurance company accepts your claim, your medical bills and medications are covered. As a result, not only can you get the treatment you need, which is most important, but you can get the proof necessary to support your claim going forward. However, if your employer and its insurance company will not support your claim and you don’t have access to health insurance, you (a) won’t get the medical care you need and (b) will find it extremely difficult to prove your case so you can get that care in the future. Medical records are a key part of proving a workers’ compensation claim. The records enable your lawyer to prove the level of damage you suffered and, through doctor’s reports and deposition, prove that the damage came as a result of your activities for your employer.

How ObamaCare Helps

Before ObamaCare, Jim told me, he frequently ran into people who didn’t have health insurance. Those people could not get medical care or prove their cases when their claims were denied. Thus, the lack of ability to receive care benefited the workers’ compensation insurance companies. Those who did have insurance, but lost their jobs, normally couldn’t pay for COBRA (a system that allows you to keep your employer subsidized insurance, but requires you to pay the full cost) and so would again be unable to get the medical care they required or the medical records to prove their cases. ObamaCare solved this. Under ObamaCare, if your employer does not offer health insurance or you lose insurance, you can get coverage. This means that injured workers can get the treatment they need as well as the medical records required to prove they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

No Access to Medical Treatment Causes Suffering and Loss of Legitimate Claims

Jim told me, without medical care, many clients find themselves in an extremely difficult situation, unable to get the medical care they need, and unable to get benefits so they can get the medical care paid for by the insurance company. This is a terrible catch-22. ObamaCare solved this problem by providing access to medical care and the required records.

Jim, along with many injured workers, are feeling better today, as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision.

 

 

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