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RollCNY 12-11-13 08:10 PM

Personally, I think you are being far too simplistic, and erroneously equating insurance with purchasing a product.

On the simplistic side, I don't agree with your cost delta. That may very well be the printed bill delta, or the price one is asked to pay without insurance, but no insurance company is out laying $40k for an ambulance, an overnight and observation. But I do agree that there is a delta.

A middle of the road insurance plan for a family costs $24k per year (ACA sets a lower #, but that is largely to trigger Cadillac revenue). This means that an average family is using $24k less margin for insurance company per year. Most families don't use a fraction of that, but they collectively buy into a pool to cover themselves in case their own specific lifestyle choices push them over that average. Insurance is a fear buy: I don't want it, but I am afraid to pursue my life without risking my assets without it.

So to your cost question: the true cost delta is irrelevant for bicycle head injuries, just as the true cost of cancer treatment is irrelevant. By purchasing the product, you have placed your lot in the same hat as everyone else in the same boat. If you want to pay less, then throw your lot in the hat with an experience rated group that has an exclusion for bare headed cyclists. I would wager that that group may well have other exclusions that you will need to abide.

The HSA movement is about passing costs on to users, to drastically drop premiums and reduce experience rating impacts. Join a group like that if you want to reduce your out of pocket impact from others decisions.

Or carry no insurance. You can pay doctors office visits and pay for scrips, and you won't pay a fraction of $24k per year. But you also won't have other people's money bank rolling your colonoscopy.

FBinNY 12-11-13 08:46 PM


Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16322486)
Of course it is a fool's question. It's a thought experiment. But just because I am examining the cost of forgoing a helmet doesn't mean I have to simultaneously examine all other costs in the world just to be, I dunno, fair or something.

To determine the cost doesn't require looking at anything else. However data without context is useless. So if there's an intent to say that unhelmeted cyclists should make society whole for their impact (no pun), then you'd have to justify why they should be singled out as a class, while all the others go for free. Following the logic you should also give credit for the fact that they're a cyclist in the first place, because when all is said and done, cyclists (including those not wearing helmets) live longer healthier lives, and have lower medical costs overall.

So far the only group that's been singled out and made to pay for their increased cost impact are smokers, and let's not kid ourselves, the states have snagged that money and used it in the general fund.

So you have 4 hurdles

1- the need to rationalize that people should be made to pay for the externalities
2- which classes would be tracked this way
3- some actuarial formula or method for calculating and allocating those costs
4- deciding whether it's good or rational social policy to begin with.

However, as a healthy person, I wouldn't mind implementing some kind of "you pay for your stupidity and I'll pay for mine" policy, because as I said earlier, cyclists come out ahead even without helmets. The rebate I'd be entitled to from the general health ins. pool would be very sufficient to buy separate accident/injury coverage, and I'd have change in my pocket.

Chris516 12-11-13 09:20 PM


Originally Posted by genec (Post 16322759)
A ride in which you barely exceed your easy jogging pace... just for the sake of argument. (other's "low key" may vary)

I don't ride at a 'jogging pace'.

mconlonx 12-12-13 01:37 AM


Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16322404)
Interesting. So per my previous computation, you'd set the price at $14/mo.

Why are you talking monthly price? I thought insurance was not to be considered in this scenario, so as not to be a drag on anyone else's healthcare.

I'm simply asking you the same thing you're asking others--put your money where your mouth is: forgo insurance and pay out of pocket for an injury sustained while cycling like you're asking others to do.

bmontgomery87 12-12-13 06:43 AM


Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff (Post 16322123)
See the link. I want the pro-choice people to stand up for their principles. A hospital stay, paid for through insurance, affects my insurance premium. If one truly believes the choice to wear a helmet or not affects only them, I merely want them to pledge to pay cash for any medical treatment necessary for a head injury sustained while cycling helmetless. Rather than whipping out that insurance card and affecting my premium.

Alternatively, if you won't make the pledge for free on principle, how much would someone have to pay to you make the pledge?

While I see what you're getting at, my choice to not wear a helmet is having a much more negligible effect on you than people who chose to smoke, eat crappy food, etc.
Start penalizing people who guzzle corn syrup and trans fats then get back to me. Because, chances area, I'm going to be making a lot less trips to the doctor than those people.

We can't set a premium variation for every bad choice that people make. I personally like the idea of not having insurance and just paying out of pocket (what I've done this past year) as I'm not footing the bill for others, and not wasting money on premiums.

genec 12-12-13 09:17 AM


Originally Posted by Chris516 (Post 16322950)
I don't ride at a 'jogging pace'.

Too bad for you. I have several different bikes and I ride each one differently... and I enjoy each one in different way. Think of it as a bike harem.

Yup, you can actually ride a bike at a nice low speed and enjoy it.

CbadRider 12-12-13 10:09 AM

There is a sticky thread for helmet discussions, and that includes all discussions about pros and cons of wearing helmets.

Thread closed.

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