Yes, an injured worker’s medical bills are covered under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act. This includes expenses for medical treatment, surgery, physical therapy, etc. However, the insurance company will not pay medical bills unless the claim is accepted and the doctor requests authorization from the insurer to proceed with the treatment. The insurance company has the right to deny it. You, in turn, have the right to fight back. However, that’s where you want to get a good workers’ comp lawyer!
In every contested case, all medical fees must be approved by the Workers’ Compensation Commission (“WCC”). The WCC sets the specific amount for which an employer’s insurer is liable for a variety of medical services. An injured worker can seek treatment from a doctor of his/her choice, but the Commission will not approve any fee or treatment that is deemed unreasonable. A Claimant may also have to be examined by a doctor retained by the insurance company. If the Claimant’s doctor and the insurer’s doctor disagree on treatment, either party may file “issues” and the dispute will then be settled by the Commission after a hearing on the matter.
Unlike an award for permanent disability, which is limited to a specific number of weeks of compensation, the employer’s insurer’s liability for medical coverage may continue indefinitely. Unlike an award for temporary disability, an employer’s insurer’s liability for medical expenses may even continue after an employee reaches maximum medical improvement (“MMI”). In short, if medical treatment is reasonable in the eyes of the Commission, the insurance company’s liability is essentially unlimited.