Government statistics indicate that in 2018, 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred.
Accidents and illness in the workplace might be unexpected, but you shouldn’t be caught unprepared. When you offer your employees robust workers compensation policies, they can stop worrying about their health and safety. Such employees become more engaged in the organization resulting in better productivity.
Keep reading to find out more about the several workers’ comp policies available for your team.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance policy that covers the medical and other associated costs for your employees when they get injured or sick while working.
In many states, workers’ compensation is mandatory, and each state has its rules on how the policy works.
Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
Not all employees can claim workers’ compensation. Therefore, before you take out the coverage for your workers, you need to find out if they qualify for the benefits.
1. The Employer Must Have Workers’ Comp
If you have more than one employee, most states will require you to carry workers’ compensation. Some other states will demand that you acquire the policy if you hire two to three workers. Texas is noted for making workers’ compensation coverage optional for nearly all private organizations.
2. One Must Be an Employee
Only an employee can collect the benefits of workers’ compensation insurance. The level of control one has with their work determines whether they can be called an employee.
For independent contractors, workers’ compensation is not an option. They do not surrender part of their pay as taxes via the employer, they use their tools and are not necessarily undertaking the employer’s daily operations.
3. The Illness or Injury Must Be Work-Related
If you were carrying out a duty to benefit your employer directly and in the process, get injured or sick, then that falls under a work-related injury.
4. Reporting the Injury or Illness on Time
An employee can only be eligible for workers’ comp benefits if they reported the injury or illness on time. Each state sets out the deadline by which one ought to file a claim, beyond which they won’t be eligible.
Types of Workers Compensation Policies
There are several types of coverage under workers’ compensation insurance. These various policies offer different protections for your staff.
1. Medical Coverage
Many workers who put in a claim for workers’ comp end up receiving medical attention. Here, workers’ comp foots the costs related to diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries among your employees.
Even though exact details may vary depending on the case, the coverage typically takes care of the doctor’s fees, surgery, and medication. Long-lasting medical equipment (such as crutches and wheelchairs) and physiotherapy are also covered under the benefits.
The medical benefits under workers’ compensation do not get capped at a dollar amount. Instead, when an employee needs medical attention, they can receive it until they are fully recovered. These benefits also aren’t subject to copays or deductibles.
But that does not mean no limitations exist at all. Some types of treatment can have a limit. For example, the state can place a limit on the number of physical therapy sessions an employee can take.
Additionally, state regulations limit the use of alternative treatment under workers’ compensation.
In many states, you or the workers’ compensation insurance provider can use an employee managed care plan. In fact, some states do make it mandatory.
A managed care plan ensures that your workers can access medical attention from a specified network of providers (in-network). That way, you can care for them while keeping an eye on the costs.
2. Disability Coverage
Another significant component of workers’ compensation is disability benefits. These payments are to assist an employee in replacing a part of their wages they lose due to injury or illness while on the job.
Temporary partial disability benefits are for the employee who can’t do their regular job for a time, though they can work a little. For example, if a staffer breaks an arm while working and can only handle a few hours of work as they recover.
The aim of workers’ compensation here would be to bridge the gap between their pre-injury earnings and what they now bring in.
But what if the injury or illness an employee suffered and led to partial disability is permanent? Then permanent partial disability ensures that they bridge the gap in their income. The state will typically limit how long permanent partial disability benefits will last.
When your employee suffers an injury or falls ill, and they can’t perform their duties at all, they will receive temporary total disability benefits. These payments will stop once the employee fully recovers, or the doctor determines that there is no way they can recover.
Sometimes, an employee will be unfortunate enough to suffer an injury or illness that’s so extensive they can’t work. Such situations call for permanent total disability payments to help the worker as they can’t earn the income they used to pre-injury or illness.
Disability benefits are calculated based on the average weekly wage and only start paying out after seven days.
3. Rehabilitation Benefits
Rehabilitation benefits help pay for the therapeutic and medical care your staff will need to recover from the illness or injury. If they need further training or care for them to regain the skills necessary to do their job, these benefits will foot the costs.
For those employees who can no longer return to their old jobs, vocational rehabilitation benefits help them receive training for new roles.
4. Death Benefits
When the injury or illness a worker suffers on the job is too severe and leads to their demise, death benefits pay their relatives an amount. These relatives are those who were depending on the deceased employee financially, such as a spouse and children.
Protect Your Employees
Work-related injuries and illnesses are inevitable, but that does not mean you should be unprepared for them. Workers compensation policies can help you take care of the costs that arise when your employees need attention for their injuries and illnesses, so you don’t strain. Understand the various types of coverage available to determine how to serve your workers best.
Amistad Insurance is dedicated to offering honest, customer-oriented insurance services. Talk to us for the right insurance solution for your employees.