MLIVE’S ASK THE ATTORNEY COLUMN
Q. After I was injured on the job, my employer denied my workers’ comp claim, fired me and cancelled my health insurance. How can I get treated for my injury?
A. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. You can file an application for workers’ comp benefits to contest the denial. You may also file a retaliatory discharge case. You probably also qualify for Medicaid and can use that insurance to get treated while the comp claim is litigated typically over the next year or so; Medicaid will later get reimbursed when the comp claim is resolved. Unfortunately, Michigan Republicans are trying to take away a disabled workers’ right to receive Medicaid. Under their proposed bill, Medicaid recipients must be either working or receiving long term disability benefits. Work requirements for Medicaid eligibility under the proposed bill can be modified in some unspecified way pursuant a doctor’s restrictions, but an injured worker of course will need insurance first to even see a doctor. If the Republicans succeed on this, many injured and disabled workers will go untreated and suffer unnecessary additional financial hardship. Please call me for individualized advice regarding your specific situation, and let your state legislators know you oppose these changes to the Medicaid program.
–Robert MacDonald (April 2018)