If you have sustained an injury or occupational disease covered by the Missouri Workers' Compensation Law, any health care provider selected, approved, or authorized by the employer or the workers' compensation insurance company should not attempt to collect any fee or any portion of a fee directly from you. However, you are protected against such collection efforts only if you notify the health care provider in writing by certified mail that the health care services provided to you involve a workers' compensation case. The notice should include:
The name of the employer;
The name of the workers' compensation insurance carrier, if known;
The name of the employee receiving the services;
The general nature of the injury; and
Where a claim has been filed, the claim number, if known.
As unpaid medical bills are usually the result of miscommunication between the health care provider and the insurance company, you should always talk to the insurance company as soon as you know of unpaid bills.
If the employer or the workers' compensation insurance company refuses to pay bills for authorized medical treatment, when your case goes before the administrative law judge for an evidentiary hearing (trial), you can ask the judge to order the employer/insurer to pay the medical bills. If the judge believes that the employer/insurer refused to pay the medical bills without reasonable grounds, the judge may order the employer/insurer to pay additional amounts for your lawyer's fees and costs. For more information about these types of evidentiary hearings, read What to Expect If Your Case Goes to Trial.