If you are hurt on the job and unable to work for a period of time, it is not your fault. Your employer is responsible for carrying workers’ compensation insurance to compensate you while you are out of work and to pay your medical bills. Unfortunately, many people who file for workers’ comp are made to feel as if they are trying to take advantage of a “freebie.” You are entitled to this insurance. It is not a “freebie.” You are the one who is experiencing the injury, and probably would rather be working and taking care of your family.

If you are denied workers’ compensation insurance for a work-related injury, you should contact an attorney. Medical bills can be high, and medical treatment can sometimes be ongoing for degenerative workplace injuries. Also, be aware that it is against the law for Wisconsin employers to terminate employees who have filed for workers’ compensation.

Apparently, according to a report from the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau, the ones who may be taking advantage of workers’ compensation insurance are medical facilities and doctors. Data from 2012 shows that almost five times the amount Medicare reimburses for procedures is charged for the same procedures on workers’ compensation claims. The report tallied these figures on the top 25 procedures.

The top procedure was arthroscopic shoulder surgery, followed by arthroscopic knee surgery. The shoulder surgery was approximately 1,680 percent more than the Medicare reimbursement amount, and about 796 percent more for knee surgeries. Doctors office visits were much lower, averaging between 199 and 232 percent more than Medicare.

According to the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council, Wisconsin is not the only state where prices are higher for workers’ compensation claims. In fact, Wisconsin’s average cost per claim is still one of the lowest when compared to 16 other states; however, these figures are still unacceptable. The WCAC is attempting to come up with a plan to keep workers’ compensation charges within 175 percent of Medicare costs for the same procedures. Some other states are already using the 175 percent guideline.

rightwisconsin.com, “Workers Compensation Costs Out of Control According to New Data” No author given, Nov. 12, 2013