Off Topic – Florida’s Worker’s Comp Experience

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Written by Mike Jones

I am writing this article to educate the general public on Florida’s Worker’s Comp. Recently, I had a work related injury while on the job working security. At the time of the injury, I asked myself do I really need to tell anyone. Next, I took some photos of the scene and told a co-worker.

I thought my injury was minor. So I called my boss to inform him on what happened. He directed me to write an incident report after for this matter. Then he directed me to go to the nearest hospital for evaluation. I asked him if I needed any documents and he said no. Go directly there and have the hospital send the bill our company. First off, I am afraid of hospitals and care not to visit one for medical treatment. If my medical condition was getting worse, I would have no choice but to go to a hospital emergency room I opted for the urgent care medical center instead.

Once I finished the time consuming writing an incident report, I searched on my phone for a local urgent care medical center. Instead they were closed and I had to wait for the next morning to visit an urgent care medical center. Then I texted my boss, I will have to wait till the morning to see one. He was fine with that. Under Florida’s Worker’s Comp law an injured employee has thirty days to see a doctor to be evaluated on a work related injury. Sometimes, an employee may not have a choice where they go and are directed to a nearest medical facility by the employer.

When I arrived in the morning at an urgent care medical center, I was told I needed a Worker’s Comp insurance carrier and claim number. At the time, I had neither. The desk clerk gave me document with patient information that needed to be filled out.

So I had to call my boss for this information. Next, he had to research to get me the information and get back with me.

Most office break rooms have a Worker’s Comp poster hanging on the wall. On the job site, we do not have a break room with this information. I was surprised that we do not have this information handy. Now it is my mission to make sure we have one on site. I am surprise that there is not a state law making it mandatory to have this poster on the wall of each office break room.

Once I received the Worker’s Comp insurance carrier and claim number, the urgent care medical care processed my paperwork so a doctor or nurse practitioner could evaluate me. If I did not have Worker’s Comp insurance than it would be out of pocket costs for myself. The out of pocket costs are extremely high.

The desk clerk informed me that if I self-paid for this visit that the insurance company could rejected the claim and it would not cover it. So, I waited till I had all the information. No one wants a rejected claim. It was estimated for out of pocket treatment would cost $180 – 850 depending on medical treatment. This is much cheaper than going to a hospital to pay over $1000.

Then I was seen be a nurse practitioner that evaluated me. She said I looked fine and to come back in a week. After I left the urgent care medical center, I had to scan two documents and email it to my boss. He did this information for the record.

I returned to work the same day. I am aware of Worker’s Comp information will be mailed to me within a few days. The paperwork is a long process. If you are unsecure what is going on then follow up with the Worker’s Comp Insurance Company.

Sometimes the paper work has errors. I was sent a medical center bill because it was sent to the wrong Worker’s Comp Insurance Company. They wanted me to pay for it. So I contacted the medical center and my boss and advised them what was going on. Since then I have not heard a work back. This problem repeated it self twice because of incorrect insurance billing address.

 

Finally, after going through this process, I have a better understanding of this entire Worker’s Comp process. It was not fun to go through. Be safe in the work place. If a work place injury happens to you, you’ll know what to do.

 

 

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