FAQ: Medical Benefits

Overview

Iowa Workers’ Compensation law requires most employers to provide wage loss and medical benefits to employees who are injured while working.

An employee who sustains a work injury may be entitled to medical benefits under Iowa workers' compensation law.

This page contains frequently asked questions (FAQ) about medical benefits in Iowa.

Legal Advice

The FAQ pages are intended to provide general information about the Iowa workers' compensation system. For resources to help you get legal advice, click here.

Table of Contents

FAQ

Who chooses medical care?

The employer has the right to choose the medical care in most circumstances.

In an emergency, an injured employee may choose medical care if the employer or employer's representative can't be reached.

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What type of care must the employer provide?

The employer must provide medical care reasonably suited to treat an employee's work injury.

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What should an employee do if the employee is dissatisfied with employer-chosen care?

If an employee is dissatisfied with the care chosen by the employer, the employee should discuss the problem with the employer (or its insurance carrier). An employee can request alternate care from the employer (or its insurance carrier). If the employer (or its insurance carrier) does not allow the requested care, the employee may file a petition for alternate care with the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC).

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Must an employer reimburse an employee for mileage traveled to get care for a work injury?

The employer's responsibility to pay for medical care to treat a work injury includes reasonable and necessary travel expenses for care. 

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What is the reimbursement rate for mileage traveled to get medical care for a work injury?

The mileage rate for use of a private car to travel to and from care for a work injury is the business standard mileage rate allowed by the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in effect on July 1 of each year.

To view current and past mileage rates, click here.

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Does an employee receive payment for lost wages if the employee is required to leave work for medical treatment for a work injury?

Under certain circumstances, if an employee is required to leave work for care to treat a work injury, the employee may receive payment of lost wages.

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Can a medical care provider seek payment of charges from an employee while a contested case is pending before DWC?

A medical care provider cannot seek payment of charges for treatment from an employee while a contested case proceeding or a dispute as to the reasonableness of a medical treatment fee is pending before the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC). 

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Must an employee share medical information concerning the employee's physical or mental condition relative to a workers' compensation claim with the employer or insurance carrier?

Any party making or defending a claim for workers' compensation benefits agrees to release all information concerning the employee’s physical or mental condition relative to the claim and waives any privilege for the release of such information. The information must be made available to any party or the party’s representative upon request. This means an employee must share medical information concerning the employee's physical or mental condition relative to a workers' compensation claim with the employer or insurance carrier.

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Must an employer or insurance carrier share medical information concerning an employee's physical or mental condition relative to a workers' compensation claim with the employee?

Any party making or defending a claim for workers' compensation benefits agrees to release all information concerning the employee’s physical or mental condition relative to the claim and waives any privilege for the release of such information. The information must be made available to any party or the party’s representative upon request. This means the employer or insurance carrier must share medical information concerning the employee's physical or mental condition relative to a workers' compensation claim with the employee.

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More Info

For more information about workers' compensation in Iowa, click here.