How to Obtain Needlestick Insurance in the USA

by Desdemona Delacroix; Updated September 26, 2017
Needlestick insurance is a good idea in many health care environments.

Needlestick insurance is a special kind of coverage that people might be interested in when they work directly with needles and syringes. Those who work in such fields as health care, dentistry and body art (tattooing and piercing) often come in contact with sharp instruments that could be contaminated with HIV, hepatitis or other blood-borne pathogens. These workers need to be assured that they are covered by insurance if they become infected from an accidental needlestick, but because the coverage is specialized, many don't know how to get it.

Step 1

Check with your school or employer to see if its insurance plan offers needlestick coverage. In certain fields you may already be covered, and many health care programs in the U.S. require needlestick insurance to be purchased by their students through the school before they start courses.

Step 2

Call your current health care insurance provider and speak to an agent. Ask whether you would be covered for an accidental needlestick under your current policy. If not, ask if you can add a specific provision for needlesticks to your policy.

Step 3

Buy private insurance that covers needlesticks. This will likely be the most expensive option, and you will need to make sure you understand the policy thoroughly before signing. For example, many private companies offer cash lump-sum compensation beyond the amount that would be offered under other insurance for needlestick exposures, but they might neglect to mention that they won't cover your medical costs. Private insurance should be considered only if your school- or employer-sponsored insurance will not cover you.

Tips

  • Find out whether you can claim needlestick exposures under workers' compensation coverage, in addition to or in lieu of purchasing insurance.

Warnings

  • Be aware that adding a provision to your current health care plan may cost extra and may even change your entire plan. Discuss all possibilities with your insurance company, and get any proposed changes in writing before modifying your health plan.

About the Author

Desdemona Delacroix has been working as a freelance author in her spare time since 2000, writing short do-it-yourself and current events articles. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Maryland University College, and she occasionally offers tutoring services in writing to undergraduate college students.

Photo Credits

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