Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: planeguy5 on December 25, 2015, 08:55:07 pm

 
Title: (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
Post by: planeguy5 on December 25, 2015, 08:55:07 pm
Hello folks,

Do any of you have thoughts/recommendations/opinions about injury insurance (or "catastrophic injury" insurance as I've heard it) while bike touring? With my plans to do the TransAm this upcoming summer, my parents feel that such insurance would be necessary in the off-chance I receive a debilitating, long-term injury. I'm not quite sure what more it would offer than what we already get from Anthem Blue Cross health insurance.

On a separate note, I am thoroughly enjoying this forum, as you can probably tell from the number of different questions I have posed in all the subsections. I appreciate all of the feedback you provide, especially since I am a beginner tourer!

Happy new year,
Jeremy
Title: Re: (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
Post by: staehpj1 on December 26, 2015, 08:47:43 am
The only reason I can see for additional coverage is if your current coverage wouldn't cover you while on tour.  For example if you will be in a country that they won't cover you.  I really don't see a tour as increasing the likelihood of serious injury.  You could be just as easily be injured in your normal daily life.  I figure that I am more likely to suffer serious injury around town at home than when on tour.

Basically, my opinion boils down to this.  If you need additional coverage you need it all the time, going on a tour doesn't cause a need for additional coverage IMO.
Title: Re: (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
Post by: planeguy5 on December 26, 2015, 11:16:55 am
Basically, my opinion boils down to this.  If you need additional coverage you need it all the time, going on a tour doesn't cause a need for additional coverage IMO.

Thank you. That is exactly how I feel as well. I guess it is just a matter of conveying that opinion to my parents.
Title: Re: (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
Post by: DaveB on December 26, 2015, 03:52:37 pm
The only justification I can see for additional medical insurance is if your current coverage is an HMO and is very insistent that you stay "in network" or the co-pays, deductibles, etc. are very high.
Title: Re: (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
Post by: Pat Lamb on December 27, 2015, 12:48:42 pm
I've just carried my existing health insurance, and filed for COBRA on my long tour. 

Choose your carrier carefully, as there are those that hit you hard when you're out of network.  Even there, it's usually a one-time hit (i.e., deductible goes from $200 to $500 or some such).  If you're sideswiped by a wheat truck in Kansas, you'll pay more before the coverage kicks in.  Read the fine print (not to be confused with RTFM!).
Title: Re: (Catastrophic) injury insurance while cycling?
Post by: BikePacker on December 28, 2015, 01:24:15 pm
Jeremy - This is longer than I want it to be but I lack the ability to make it briefer - apologies.
You have 'stirred my thinking' in 2 areas, both of probably equal importance. 
First a general consideration .... I am ACA/Obamacare 'certified' - but I recognize that you did not say if you had ACA/Obamacare coverage .... could be group coverage? .... hence, we as readers have no real knowledge of the structure of your specific insurance coverage .... Anthem BCross/BShield has many different plans and they can vary from state to state.
Back to the more specific thoughts you have generated, even with the above in mind:
First, Pat's point is very significant.  Be aware of where you are intending to travel because if you have medical service performed from providers that are out of network the cost is typically much higher to you.
Second, "What" your cost is depends on the aforementioned insurance policy 'structure.'  By this I mean the level of deductible, the cost of co-pay
(which typically varies with regard to whether you are see a 'generalist' or a 'specialist' and, as previously mentioned, whether in or out of network in all the aforementioned),
and the total/maximum out of pocket cost which, depending on the policy, may or may not include both deductible and co-pays.
Something to consider if you view your deductibles &/or co-pays &/or max insured payout ("CATASTROPHIC" per your posting) amounts as being too risky for your comfort level is get coverage by the "supplementary policies" that pay you cash in the event of injury regardless of what your Anthem BCross/BShield pays. 
You will find policies such as this available on-line or from agents of Humana or United Healthcare and other big names.
Two related big questions for all of us cyclists is:
(1) Does my insurance policy cover at all OR adequately Air Evacuation, and
(2) Do I fell at risk?
This is relevant because many times we are cycling in remote areas. 
Someone (e.g., Police, 1st Responder/EMT) may call in Air Evac whether one needs it or not. 
The injured person may not be conscious enough to have any 'say' in the matter. 
The injured cyclist then owes if the insurance company does not cover it. 
If you do a net search on the cost of Air Evac.ing ... expect to see that it is at least $5000 and can be 3 times or more subject to is there any competition in the area and/or the total distance to/from the chopper & crews must travel/over night stay, etc.