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Old 03-12-10, 10:05 AM   #1
DougG
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Accident Insurance: Good Idea for Cyclists?

Like many these days, I have a couple of years before Medicare and have to get my own health insurance since my COBRA ran out after I retired 18 months ago. To keep premiums anywhere within reason, I went with a high-deductible policy with a HSA (Health Savings Account) option where I basically pay the first $2500 of any expenses during the year, and pay a percentage from there to $5000.

After getting this policy, my agent contacted me and asked if I were interested in a separate "accident coverage" policy for only $22/month that would pay up to $5000 for treatment resulting from an accident, or in other words cover all my out-of-pocket expenses.

Normally it is considered not a good bet to insure against specific health conditions -- such as against cancer or what have you -- but it got me to thinking about my particular situation. I had to go to the ER a few years ago when I cut myself with a pruning saw. I came out with a few stitches, and my insurance company was billed about $1200! Care ain't cheap any more.

Looking back at a life with probably a few more trips to the ER than the general public, out of the last 6 times I can recall (ER and other accident-related care), 3 of them were due to something I was doing on 2 wheels (motorcycle or bicycle). So considering my plans for bike trips and other events in the next 18 months, it seemed like reasonable insurance and I signed up.

Anyone else purchase something like this, or any other comments? (By the way, I did read the policy with a fine-tooth comb to make sure there were no exclusions that might apply. Competing on a track would not be covered, but injuries in events like a duathlon or running would be. Lots of exclusions for hang-gliders and rock-climbers though.)
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Old 03-12-10, 03:39 PM   #2
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Hope you get some replys on this as I'm in the same boat. Retired about 18 months ago and am buying Blue Choice ($900/month) for me and th wifey. Very expensive but low deductable and pays for meds (all but $4.00) and covers dental. Does yours pay for meds and what is the premiums?
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Old 03-12-10, 05:10 PM   #3
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Being a high-deductible, my "Flexible Blue II" coverage is $450/month. I don't have any ongoing medical issues, and the cost of my few medications are much less than what I'd pay extra in premiums for coverage. So I'm rolling the dice and hoping that I don't have any major medical situations in the next year and a half.
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Old 03-12-10, 05:20 PM   #4
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I'm thinking my current plan to work into my 70's will avoid this issue.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:01 PM   #5
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Hope you get some replys on this as I'm in the same boat. Retired about 18 months ago and am buying Blue Choice ($900/month) for me and th wifey. Very expensive but low deductable and pays for meds (all but $4.00) and covers dental. Does yours pay for meds and what is the premiums?
900x2 or 900 for both? Wifey wants to retire next year, and her school district currently carries our insurance.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:02 PM   #6
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Hope you get some replys on this as I'm in the same boat. Retired about 18 months ago and am buying Blue Choice ($900/month) for me and th wifey. Very expensive but low deductable and pays for meds (all but $4.00) and covers dental. Does yours pay for meds and what is the premiums?
900x2 or 900 for both? Wifey wants to retire next year, and her school district currently carries our insurance.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:08 PM   #7
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If I was in your shoes I'd probably do it. Most of the folks I ride with have had some sort of bike related injury that required medical attention. It is so easy to break a collarbone falling over at slow speeds. One incident will more than make up for the cost.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:16 PM   #8
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Gotta keep in mind that your insurance company's bill for $1,200 was a negotiated rate, FAR below what they would have billed you if you did not have the insurance coverage.

We have horror stories around here of ER bills of $14,000, just for showing up, talking with a nurse, getting an x ray, and talking with a doc.

You see in the Medicaid and Medicare bills a HUGE difference between what the hospital, et al, charge and what is actually paid. IOW, if you did not have MA or MCare, you would have absolutely horrific bills.

Not fair - in fact, I think it is illegal, but that is how our system works.

So, the double advantage for your $22 is negotiated rates (likely) and no or little out-of-pocket. I say go for it.
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Old 03-12-10, 09:43 PM   #9
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A lot of us just wish we could just get the insurance negotiated rates, even if the insurance company pays nothing.
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Old 03-13-10, 08:27 AM   #10
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Ask that agent if its like the AFLAC income replacement policy. That type of policy will pay out, even if its not an accident related event, I believe. But check that one out.
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Old 03-13-10, 08:39 AM   #11
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Gotta keep in mind that your insurance company's bill for $1,200 was a negotiated rate, FAR below what they would have billed you if you did not have the insurance coverage.

We have horror stories around here of ER bills of $14,000, just for showing up, talking with a nurse, getting an x ray, and talking with a doc.

You see in the Medicaid and Medicare bills a HUGE difference between what the hospital, et al, charge and what is actually paid. IOW, if you did not have MA or MCare, you would have absolutely horrific bills.

Not fair - in fact, I think it is illegal, but that is how our system works.

So, the double advantage for your $22 is negotiated rates (likely) and no or little out-of-pocket. I say go for it.
Makes me glad to live in Canada, where we went through health care reform in the 1960's. It's funny really it was proposed in the 1950's and completed before 1975. The same thing was proposed in the United States in the 1920's and is still floating around out there. Negotiated rates are pretty much how the whole system works here. It's implemented on a provincial basis though with the feds kicking in some cash, it was Saskatchewan in 1962 that got the ball rolling. By 1975 it was in all provinces.

I find it strange that the US doesn't follow this model, with the states implementing health care, because the right state with the right attitude, willing to take on the health care mega-corporations could get it done. Of course once one state gets it done, others can jump on the bandwagon pretty quickly, until the whole country has it. You need a group of politicians that are willing to stake their political careers on it though, and willing to undergo situations like the doctors strike that Saskatchewan had in 1962.

What I think will end up happening though is that the US government will simply pay the commercial insurance premiums of a small group of destitute people, there will be a huge process to apply for this, and there will be a large group of people who have too large an income to get assistance, but not enough to pay the premiums, so you still end up with a lot of people without basic coverage.
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Old 03-13-10, 09:32 AM   #12
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900x2 or 900 for both? Wifey wants to retire next year, and her school district currently carries our insurance.
Both and includes dental. We both are taking several old peoples meds and the meds/copay is nice. Just that $1000/month is alot for us.
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Old 03-13-10, 02:36 PM   #13
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We have a National insurance over here that all Tax payers have to pay. Works out at around 10% of your taxable income so someone on say 30,000 a year will pay 10% of their taxable income (About 24,000) so they pay say 2,400. On top of this the employer pays around the same amount so Just under 5,000 paid for that salary. This is for Health insurance-Dental- certain amount for Optician and the joke that is called the Graduated Pension. Of course you do not only pay for your treatment as a good proportion of that will pay the Doctors- Nurses- and for the structure of the N.H.S.

There is an upper limit on which you do not pay any more- (55,000?) and those not employed pay nothing. We do not pay for Much- except a proportion of Dental and Optician- but I often wonder if we do get a Good Value Service out of it.

But additional Accident insurance- Unless you require better immediate Medical service- Not many have it over here.
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Old 03-16-10, 06:13 AM   #14
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The only data I've seen on the comparative risks was a data set about 20 years ago that showed that cyclists had the same risk of death as an automobile driver. Traffic is a lot worse today and since you have some long exposure times planned, it seems a reasonable expense. The only other thought is to compare that policy to how much less deductible will an additional $22.00/month buy especially if you have other family members. Probably not much.

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Old 03-17-10, 10:36 AM   #15
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In the lower 48, the AFLAC and MASS Mutual accident plans are excellent choices. AFLAC pays up to $50K for accidents and will also pay for some preventitive procedures. I like the plans. I had a daughter in college who broke her nose playing Rugby, yeah, girls rugby! Sheesh! They picked up all the expenses and the travel. The college plan she was on didn't cover sports injuries.

Last October I did a baseball slide with my bike into a pile of stones. Total out of pocket with a low deductible health plan was still $250. I didn't have an Accident plan at the time. I do now. They are reasonable. They are very specific as to what and how coverage is triggered, but when they fit, its worth it.
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Old 03-19-10, 10:42 AM   #16
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If you have auto/motocycle insurance that may already cover you. If not see about adding to those policies.
If you have auto insurance check on the uninsured and under insured aspects. When I was hit by a car the under insured came into play.
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