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Who Pays for Workers Compensation?

Workers’ compensation insurance is paid for by the employer in the state of Missouri.

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If you own and operate a business in Missouri and have more than five employees or are in the construction industry, then you are required to carry something called workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance policy that compensates any employee who is injured on the job while engaged in work-related activities.

Workers’ compensation insurance is paid for by the employer in the state of Missouri. An employer can opt to pay for workers’ compensation insurance by paying the premium to an employee directly, by paying into a state-run program for workers’ compensation or by making payments to an individual insurance carrier.

Even though the type of insurance system that your employee engages in has no bearing on your eligibility when you make a claim as an injured employee, it may be helpful to understand how the different programs work.

State-Run Programs

Missouri has a state-run workers’ compensation program. If your employer chooses to pay into the state program, and you make a claim that is approved, your payments will be made through the state government via the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor acts as an insurance carrier when a worker is injured. The business owner or employer pays insurance premiums into the state-run system, and when you make a claim, your claim and reimbursement will come from the government, not from your employer.

Private Insurance Carriers

An employer might opt to take out workers’ compensation from an individual career. When an employer pays premiums to an individual private insurance company, then if you file a claim, you will be dealing directly with the insurance company. This is similar to the dealings you would encounter if your employer opted for the state-run program.

Self-Insured Options

If a company is large enough and can prove that they have the necessary assets, they can opt to self-insure their employees. If a company wants to be self-insured, they are likely to be overseen by the state of Missouri to ensure that they can pay for an injured worker should they actually need to pay for someone’s expenses.

Self-insured companies usually use a third-party administrator to handle all the specifics related to workers’ compensation claims, management and all the red tape that goes into the insurance claims.

Self-insured companies tend to view workers’ compensation eligibility more harshly and are typically more difficult to deal with than other types of workers’ compensation insurers. You may receive less for your injuries and you might have to fight more if your employer uses a self-insured method.

Either way, employers in Missouri are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Regardless of which method they use for insurance, if you are having a hard time getting your claim approved, the best course of action is to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. If your employer is self-insured, it might be especially critical to have someone in your corner to help you get what you are legally entitled to.

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Updated: August 23, 2019

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