Do You Really Want the Workers' Comp Insurance company to Pay for Psychological treatment? Think Closely...

Workers’ compensation insurance companies will pay for psychotherapy, but there are reasons why an individual may not want to use their workers’ compensation insurance coverage to pay for psychotherapy.  If you undergo psychotherapy in connection with a work injury, your doctor must provide copies of reports to the insurance company.  What you say to the psychotherapist, therefore, will not remain confidential.  Furthermore, if you place your mental status at issue, insurance companies have the right to see if there are other stressors in your life or if there is a history of mental illness in your past or in your family.  This means that the insurance company can and will delve into the most private parts of your life if you seek recovery of expenses associated with psychotherapy. I once filed a claim to recover such expenses at the request of a client depressed as a result of his physical pain. When I received the therapy records, they included a discussion of a marital affair. At my client's direction, I withdrew the claim and shredded the records.

            For this reason, I generally recommend that people get into an active physical therapy program and use their health insurance coverage, if available, to pay for any psychotherapy.  If you do not have health insurance coverage, it may make sense to get the workers’ compensation insurance company to acknowledge its legal responsibility to pay expenses associated with your psychotherapy.  If you do so, however, your eyes need to be wide open to the potential consequences.  

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