Some leading US companies offer a unique perk for injured workers who settle their claims with little or no health insurance. They offer a service that gives these employees discounts on their medical care, support to navigate the health care system, and administration of their medical bills. It’s a way to give an injured worker an extension of their employee benefits while still maintaining control of their money after they’ve settled.
While this service is especially valuable for injured workers, it is not restricted only to them. Anyone can take advantage of these benefits to get a break on retail prices for prescriptions and other medical services along with support and advocacy. It’s a way to leverage the benefits of a post-settlement professional administrator without a formal agreement. Employers who can’t provide top-notch health insurance for their workers can direct them to these services as an alternative way to provide healthcare assistance.
Professional administrators offer significant price reductions for medications and medical treatments, as well as step-by-step guidance through the healthcare system — often via a 24-hour/7-day-a-week assistance to discuss healthcare issues. Injured workers with longstanding claims can find the comfort and peace of mind they need to finally settle their claims.
Injured parties with complex medical issues can sometimes be hesitant to end their relationship with the workers’ compensation system for fear of having to manage their money and health care needs on their own, as well as pay full retail price for prescriptions, doctor visits, and medical treatments. Working with a professional administrator after settlement can often be the answer for these employees.
Here’s how it works:
- An injured worker or independent individual who signs up for the service is given a benefit card which can be used to pay for pharmaceuticals and other medical needs.
- There is no obligation to use the card at any time, and the company cannot dictate when or how often the card is used, if ever.
- Discounts off retail prices are available when the card is used.
The professional administrator does not have control over any specific amount of money. Instead, the user allows access to his bank account for only those services paid with the card from the professional administrator. The company simply processes payments made on the card through the person’s bank account. The better companies also provide the user with a report that tracks all payments made through the card in a given time period, which can be particularly helpful for those who trace Medicare payments.
Who Benefits Most
In addition to injured workers who have settled their claims, those who can gain the most through the services of a professional administrator include:
- The uninsured. Those with no health insurance typically pay full price for their doctor visits, treatments, and medications; using a professional administrator results in significant savings to them. Additionally, they may want or need assistance locating providers and pharmacies as well as setting up appointments. Professional administrators provide these and other services.
- Those with high deductibles. People who have health insurance with deductibles in the thousands often must pay full price for their medical services and/or payments made through the card are not credited to the deductible. However, the discounts offered through a professional administrator can result in substantial savings.
- Insureds with non-covered meds or treatments. Some insurance plans don’t include certain medications; or the discounts provided are insignificant. The discounts offered through the professional administrator may be greater.
- Those looking for alternatives to high co-payments. Depending on the insurance plan, there may be high co-payments for visiting certain specialists or purchasing some medications. The professional administrator’s discounts may be lower than the out-of-pocket co-pay.
The services of a professional administrator are not appropriate for everyone, but for many, it is an alternative to paying high prices and trying to navigate the system alone.
Only a small percentage of injured workers who settle their cases are using professional administrators. But that is changing, especially since CMS’s recommendation last year that injured parties seek third-party assistance/professional administration after settling their claims.
Now, some of these companies have expanded their services to allow anyone to tap into some of the benefits of a professional administration without a formal commitment.