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Can you choose a doctor for your workers’ compensation claim?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that benefits both the employer and the employee. It pays for an employee’s medical expenses for any work-related injury or illness. At the same time, workers’ compensation helps employees get back to work quickly, which benefits employers.

But unlike homeowners’ insurance, where you can pick any contractor to repair your home, workers’ compensation can limit the health care professionals you can seek treatment from. This is typically the case across most U.S. states, but Connecticut has provisions that allow you to pick the doctor of your choice.

State rules on provider choice

According to Connecticut labor law, your employer is responsible for providing your initial medical treatment. After you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer will offer this treatment through a designated office or facility.

But after the initial treatment, you may select an attending physician. You can pick from a list of approved practitioners, which includes all physicians, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and surgeons licensed to practice in Connecticut.

However, you can only select your own physician if your employer doesn’t have a medical care plan. If your employer has a medical care plan, you’ll have to select a health care practitioner participating in the plan. If your employer has a medical care plan and you select a physician from outside that care network, your rights to workers’ compensation benefits may be suspended.

In summary, Connecticut’s workers’ compensation system allows you to pick your medical provider – but only if your employer doesn’t have a medical care plan of its own. Be mindful of this limitation to avoid conflicts with your employer and the claims administrator handling your claim.