Health Insurance Coverage of Farm Accidents

Worker's compensation is highly recommended even for farmers who are not required to provide it by law. If you don't have worker's compensation for all family members who help with farm work, it is important to understand the policy of your health insurance company about coverage for on-farm injuries and farm-related illnesses.

You cannot assume that your health insurance policy will cover all farm accidents. Most health insurance policies exclude "treatment, services and supplies for any injury or illness covered by Worker's Compensation." Some policies may also exclude such treatment for any person who is eligible for or covered by worker's compensation. This includes any award or settlement you may receive for any disease or injury eligible for coverage. It also means the insurance company may not cover an injury or disease that would be covered under worker's compensation but is not as you did not elect to sign up even though you are eligible.

Ask questions and get written statements about coverage for all family members who may be helping with farm work. Although farm plans that are marketed only to farm families are more likely to cover farm-related illness or injuries, it is important to read the exclusions and clarify the benefits if you don't have worker's compensation.