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Who chooses the doctor for Iowa workers’ compensation claims?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2022 | Workers' Compensation |

Although your employer may provide you with some paid time off and even health insurance benefits, those employment benefits may fall far short of what you require if you get hurt on the job. Companies typically have to carry workers’ compensation to remain in compliance with Iowa state laws.

As a worker with a medical condition related to your employment, you can use that workers’ compensation coverage to obtain medical treatment or disability pay when you are unable to work or require treatment. After your injury or diagnosis, you can file a claim for benefits.

Unlike health insurance, workers’ compensation coverage doesn’t pass any responsibility to the injured employee. You will have no deductible to meet, nor will there be co-pays or coinsurance due for the care that you receive. However, there are restrictions on what Iowa workers’ compensation will cover and on what kind of care you can obtain. Do you get to choose your own doctor during your claim?

Employers typically choose the doctors providing care

Iowa gives the authority to decide on medical providers to the employers providing workers’ compensation coverage. Businesses may have a specific healthcare professional or corporate practice that they utilize for employee injuries and work-related medical conditions.

The only scenario in which a worker can choose their own healthcare professional is in the event of an emergency. When a worker needs immediate medical treatment and cannot reach someone from the company in time, workers’ compensation may cover the emergency care that they receive. However, once the hospital or physician stabilizes the worker’s condition, they will have to pursue the rest of their treatment from the medical care provider approved by their employer.

What if you don’t agree with the care suggested?

One of the concerns workers raised about using a physician selected by their employer is that they may not agree with the treatment plan. You can sometimes negotiate with your employer or their insurance provider to receive alternate care. If they won’t work with you, the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation may intervene if you file a petition.

Learning more about how workers’ compensation functions in Iowa can help you get the benefits you require while recovering from your job-related health issue.


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