Most injured workers, having not been involved in a workers compensation claim before, do not know that they do not have to pay for their own medical treatment. But the hospitals and clinics surely know it, having been told time and again by Employee's and Employer's attorneys.
Nor can a provider send an injured worker's bill to collections. In the recent case of Agcaoili v Providence, AWCB Decision No 13-0127,the Alaska Workers Compensation Board specifically ordered Providence to desist from efforts to collect fees from an injured workers. Agcaoili v Providence
Both charging an injured worker and sending his or her bill to collections is a violation of Alaska law. Specifically, AS 23.30.097(f) provides that an employee may not be required to pay a fee or charge for medical treatment or service. Recently the Alaska Workers Compensation Board stated that this provision applies to prescriptions as well. It is the insurance companies' responsibility to ensure that prescriptions are filled and to make the necessary arrangements with pharmacies to ensure that there are.
If the insurance company handling your claim is refusing to pay for your medical bills or prescriptions, and as a result you are not obtaining medical treatment or medicine, then you may have a Workers Compensation claim and you should consult with an attorney.
The Law Office of Keenan Powell provides free consultations regardless of whether or not you have been controverted. To contact Keenan Powell, use the contact form on this page or call 258-7663.
For more information about Workers Compensation, see: http://www.keenanpowell.com/faq-wc.html.