In Illinois and elsewhere, workers’ compensation is available for those employees who are injured on the job. It can be used to cover medical expenses for injuries sustained while at work, and even to make up for lost wages while the employee recovers. Lately though, some companies have been considering changes to workers’ compensation — for the better.
In the past, most companies separated their workers’ compensation department from their health benefit and non-occupational disability plans. That may not sound like a major division in theory, but in practice it means that advances made to control costs under health benefit plans were not available under workers’ compensation plans. Of course, any effort to “control costs” may make some wary as the term usually implies fewer benefits, but that may not be true in this case.
By bridging the two areas, employees are reaping benefits from increased efficiency to better medical care. Specifically, companies are engaging with employees who are receiving workers’ compensation by offering wellness programs typically only available under the health benefit plan. These programs can help to reduce not only the severity of the injury, but also the amount of time necessary to heal the injury. That in turn helps employees by maximizing their personal welfare while also reducing costs for employers — a win-win situation.
Of course, obtaining workers’ compensation is still a process that many injured employees must go through first before getting access to any wellness programs the company has to offer. In working through this process, the assistance of an Illinois attorney experienced in this area may be able to assist with the proper and timely filing of documents. Moreover, the attorney may be able to help the injured employee obtain the maximum amount of compensation available.
Source: The Business Insurance, “Wellness programs adapted for workers comp,” Roberto Ceniceros, Oct. 30, 2011