After you suffer an injury at work, you need to seek medical care right away. Your workers’ compensation benefits will cover the costs for you to seek emergency care or other medical care following your injury.
You can usually go to whichever doctor you want for the initial visit. If it is a serious accident, you may require emergency care and be unable to choose your doctor. But for the most part, the first doctor you see can be anyone of your choosing. After that, though, the rules differ.
After the first visit to the doctor, you will need to only see doctors within the workers’ compensation network. Your doctor may join the network, which is fine, but if he or she is not in the network, then you can no longer go to him or her for care that you want workers’ compensation to cover.
Besides choosing a doctor in the network, which doctor you use is up to you. Your employer may try to tell you to see a company doctor, but you do not have to. It is up to you who you will see within the network. Your employer cannot do anything about your choice of doctor if you choose not to see the one it wants. Workers’ compensation may make you choose a provider in the network if you are seeing one outside of it, but that is the only case where you will not have full choice.
You have a lot of freedom to choose your healthcare providers. Just remember that they must be within the workers’ compensation network for covered care.