Why Owners Of Dental Practices Should Be Covered By Workers Comp Insurance
This is an important issue that needs to be revisited. It has been my experience that most owners of a business opt to exclude themselves from Workers Compensation coverage. The two most common reasons are (1) I would never turn in a claim against myself and (2) Why would I pay for coverage I don’t need?
For years, most agents have accepted, even encouraged the concept of owners excluding themselves from Work Comp coverage to save a few dollars in premium. The problem is, by excluding yourself from Work Comp you may be putting yourself in danger of having your Health Care provider deny coverage for an injury that took place at work.
As Workers Compensation is the sole remedy for all injuries that take place while at work, it is the first place considered for paying medical bills resulting from a work place injury. It is a little known fact that most Health Insurance policies have wording that specifically excludes coverage for injuries that take place at work if the injured person could have been covered by a Workers Compensation policy.
This means that if you, the owner of a business, are hurt during work, your Health Insurance provider can direct the payment for your treatment towards the Workers Compensation policy you have purchased. If you chose to exclude yourself from Work Comp coverage, who may have to pay the medical bills? The answer is you.
For years, we did not see Health Care providers denying these work related claims, but that is changing. Now, many Health Care providers are asking where the injury took place. They are trying to redirect medical payments to the Work Comp carriers. Recently, we had talked to a business owner who had this very thing happen. When the owner said he was injured at work, the Health Care provider noted that in on the chart and coverage was denied by the Health Care Provider. Because the owner had decided to opt out of Work Comp coverage, he was left with a $50,000+ bill that he was personally responsible for.
The Workers Comp system makes it less painful to include the owners for coverage than you may think. Because owners payroll has a maximum of just over $100,000, the end cost to cover the owner of a dental practice is not very costly when you consider the potential loss due to uncovered medical care.
If you are interested in talking to me about this or any other aspect of your insurance needs, please email me at Bbooth@vanbeurden.com or contact me on my direct line at (559)634-7140.