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Penny-wise, Dollar-foolish

Posted on Thursday, November 27th, 2008 at 11:39 am    

I can’t begin to explain how sick I am of workers’ compensation insurance companies that jack people around. I just talked to a gentleman this morning who has been trying to handle his claim on his own. It came time for his second medical opinion, which by law, the insurance company must “reimburse” him for. Yes, technically, the insurance company can force this man to pay for the second opinion, and then reimburse him the cost. That is exactly what this insurance company is insisting on. How foolish is that?

It’s foolish, because this man may have never contacted me or any other lawyer if the company would just pay for the second opinion directly. Now, I’m involved (I’ll front the damn money), and this insurance company is going to pay the fair value of the claim when it’s all said and done, instead of paying pennies on the dollar like they thought they could do with this guy. The whole scheme tumbled down because the insurance company refused to pay for the second opinion outright, but instead insisted on reimbursing the worker.

Another scenario I was presented with this morning: Injured worker gets approval to go to the doctor after her work injury. The insurance company then refuses to pay the $37.00 radiology bill that was a part of the appointment. All this lady wanted was to get her medical bills paid. If the insurance company had paid the $37.00 bill, this lady probably never contacts me. I am quite confident that this insurance company will now pay that medical bill, plus several thousand dollars in weekly benefits that they otherwise would have cheated this poor woman out of.

If workers’ compensation companies would quit playing games with people, if they would treat injured workers’ with some small degree of respect, I wouldn’t get nearly as many calls. I guess I should thank these insurance companies for keeping me jacked up over the stupid things they do to injured workers. The biggest abusers of the workers’ compensation system, far and away, are the insurance companies. I’m honored to take these out-of-control insurance companies on in the name of good, hard-working Iowans.

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