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What's the difference between workers' comp and health insurance?

A rose is a rose is a rose. That phrase is probably familiar to a lot of readers. Those in the know will surely disagree with the premise, however. Indeed, in Georgia, would anyone accept the idea that a peach is a peach is a peach? There are different varieties and each has its own characteristics.

The same is true when it comes to forms of medical insurance. On the face of things, all medical insurance is for the same thing – to cover the costs of health care when we are sick or injured. But different policies cover different situations and that can lead to confusion. Where confusion exists, frustration is bound to follow. If you're injured on the job, that's not a situation you want to be in.

To be sure you get all the benefits that insurance programs are meant to offer, you need to know the differences, so here is a quick breakdown.

  • Health Insurance is what nearly all individuals are supposed to have because of the federal Affordable Care Act. These policies help individuals meet the costs of care associated with conditions not related to work. You might have coverage through your employer, but not necessarily.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance is coverage that is mandated for most Georgia employers. It covers you from your first day on the job. If you get hurt in a work-related incident, workers' compensation coverage covers medical treatment and rehabilitation services if needed. You might be entitled to income protection, too, if you have to be out of work for some length of time.
  • Disability Insurance may or may not be available to you. Some states require it. Most do not. It provides income benefits if a work injury leaves you disabled or unable to work.

Ultimately, the goal of all these policies is to help make a person as whole as possible, but to be sure workers' compensation benefits are delivered in a timely way and to the fullest measure possible, it can help to have an experienced attorney working with you.

Source: SmallBusiness.chron.com, "Differences Between Workers Compensation & Insurance," William Pirraglia, accessed Sept. 23, 2016

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