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Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Workers' compensation -- Medical benefits

Statutes and rules

The statutes that govern medical benefits are:

Minnesota Rules Part 5221 covers:

  • fees for medical services;

  • health care provider reporting and assistance with return-to-work planning;

  • change of doctor rules; and

  • treatment parameters.


The Minnesota workers' compensation statutes entitle an injured employee to reasonable and necessary medical treatment or supplies to cure or relieve the effects of the work injury. The employer is required to furnish medical treatment as described by Minnesota Statutes 176.135 Subd. 1, including psychological, chiropractic, podiatric, surgical and hospital treatment.

In cases of permanent total disability, payment for the reasonable value of nursing services by a member of the employee's family is allowed under Minnesota Statutes 176.135.

The employer is also responsible for the repair or replacement of artificial members, glasses, dentures or artificial teeth, hearing aids, canes, crutches or wheelchairs damaged by reason of an injury that is compensable.

All reasonable expenses incurred by or on behalf of an employee in providing treatment must be paid. This includes travel costs, copying charges, costs of medical reports and, in some cases, attorney fees that are directly related to the treatment that is requested by the employee.

An employer may require treatment and supplies, in whole or part, be provided by a certified managed care plan. Exceptions and certified managed care plans are discussed in more detail later in this section.

More information about medical benefits
Second surgical opinions, non-emergency
Certified managed care plans
Medical fee schedule
Permanent treatment parameters
Payment of medical expenses
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