Workers' comp coverage: Seasonal medical workers and interns

If you are wondering about covering hired summer help for injuries and illnesses read more here.
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Many medical providers hire summer help, including family members, students and interns, and Pinnacol receives numerous requests from interns to purchase a policy for individual coverage. If you are wondering about covering them for injuries and illnesses, here is some information to help you.

Family members and high school and college students hired for summer work are considered employees and need to be covered on your policy. 

Interns are not allowed to purchase a policy to cover only themselves because it’s against the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. The coverage determination is based on “any employer who enters into a bona fide cooperative education or student internship program sponsored by an educational institution for the purpose of providing on-the-job training for students.”

Therefore, the responsibility for coverage lies with the employer or the educational institution, depending on the circumstances.

  • If you pay the intern or student, your practice is considered the employer, and is responsible for providing coverage for the intern or student on your workers’ compensation policy. 
  • If the intern is paid by the university or sponsoring entity, that entity is responsible for providing coverage for the intern or student on its policy. 
  • If the intern or student does not receive compensation from you, the educational institution sponsoring the student shall insure the student through the institution’s workers’ compensation insurance. Alternatively, the entity can enter into negotiations with the practice for the purpose of arriving at a reasonable level of compensation to the practice for the expense of providing workers’ compensation insurance while the student is participating in on-the-job training with the practice.

When the individual in the internship or educational on-the-job training is unpaid, Pinnacol uses a payroll amount equivalent to the compensation an entry-level employee would receive to determine the policy premium, regardless of which entity is responsible for the coverage. 

Our underwriters at Pinnacol are available to answer questions that arise from the providers using interns or from educational institutions sending interns to Colorado employers.

COVID-19 policy update