The new health care laws are a hot topic and have been for some time now. I read a very interesting article today on the Insurance Journal website (www.insurancejournal.com) by Andrew Simpson. To sum it up, Mr. Simpson says that now that everyone is required to have their own health insurance, we could see less workers’ compensation claims because everyone should have access to their own healthcare plan and this may limit the desire to pursue workers’ compensation. However, on the other side of that coin, the author says that because everyone will have healthcare, the health insurance carriers may tighten up their limitations and networks, forcing people back to the workers’ compensation system. The concern it that the health insurers could then cap the reimbursements costs to health care providers (likely making it harder for injured workers to find a doctor willing to treat them) and flooding a system that we all know is very slow moving to begin with. We don’t have any solid figures yet but I found this to be an extremely interesting read. While I agree with Mr. Simpson that insurance companies are very profitable machines always looking out to make more profit by increasing premiums or putting caps on health insurance etc., I also like to see some of the bright things.
I am a strong opponent against ObamaCare. It is insulting that Americans have no freedom of choice and are forced onto health insurance that they do not want. Nuns having to pay for abortion is nonsense. Just like this is nonsense–>Congress, the Senate, the President, and UNIONS are exempt from participating in the program. So those that had the power to create it do not have to comply with it (and, oh yes, neither do their best friends/the biggest deep pockets).
However, there is a bright side to ObamaCare. He wanted it all inclusive and it includes “pre-existing conditions to include work injuries.” In their infinite wisdom, the powers that created this law, forgot to exclude workers’ compensation injuries (or most likely didn’t read it to know that it wasn’t in there). It used to be that if you were hurt at work, you couldn’t use your regular health insurance but had to go through workers’ compensation to pay the doctors. There was a specific exclusion for workers’ compensation injuries. The problem was that if you settled your workers’ compensation case, got a job and new insurance, and needed medical care for the settled workers’ compensation injury claim, the regular health insurance company could refuse to pay it. But now, the injured worker has complete access to healthcare and won’t be denied. So there will be tons of changes to ObamaCare to include, eventually, the workers’ compensation exclusion. It may take 6 months or 60 years to make the amendment. I think it will be sooner, rather than later, since insurance companies have the money to convince the powers that be that they, too, can be a best friend and need this little favor.
If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” by clicking this link, or call our office today (804) 755-7755.