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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Mar 5, 2013
Day Lily.
Dan, you can clearly see we have a very imperfect, unbalanced system. Get a hold of your wifes policy (they should be able to fax a copy, no big deal) and read over the benefits paying attention to your monetary risk (deductible, copays, coinsurance, total out of pocket, etc) and see what benefits you have for ERs (copays?), physical therapy, non-routine (medical) doctor visits, ambulance to include air ambulance (many blue cross blue shield contracts do cover air ambulance, remember you'll pay first though before they kick in if at all).

See what benefits you have for the most common/likely injuries for climbers. If your policy sucks I'm sorry. Obviously you can get more coverage on a different contract, if you wish.

Always go innetwork, know what hospitals are innetwork around your climbing area (you can make requests if concious to the emts as to which hospital to go to) and KNOW your benefits like do I need a referral? Some companies allow claims to process without refrerrals and let the member/patient pay (applying a penaty) or they'll reject it outright. Also know your groups rules.

Save yourself suffering/frustration by knowing your policy type, the rules for it (referral or not, etc) and ALWAYs go innetwork. Our system is terrible (in more than one way) so this should hopefully make your life easier...

FLAG
By mcarizona
From Flag
Mar 5, 2013
".....as I am probably more likely to die climbing than any other way at this point in my life."


Damn, you must be runnin it OUT Dan!

from FASTSTATS dotcom:

Dying:
Heart disease: 597,689
Cancer: 574,743
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
Diabetes: 69,071
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097

Hope this helps -safe climbing!
Steve

FLAG
By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Mar 5, 2013
Stairway to Heaven
Dan Halperin wrote:
She will be at Grad School by the time I arrive (UConn) and I would be covered under her plan, which apparently is limited coverage. But we haven't been able to see the full policy yet.


I'd say you're in luck.

Have a look at shs.uconn.edu/insurance.html.

Not sure if your wife would be covered under the student health insurance plan or the graduate assistant plan, but either way here's how it seems to me:
- Both plans cover spouses
- There are no underwriting requirements or pre-existing condition limitations, you just have to make sure you enroll as soon as you're eligible
- They don't exclude coverage for climbing accidents
- You'll have to pay a portion your expenses out of pocket (this is standard in the US) but there are annual caps on your out-of-pocket expenses
- Some benefits under the student plan are subject to dollar limits, but none of these limits look like they'd be relevant to you (unless you think you might be prone to "accidental ingestion of controlled substances", haha)

Once you've established which plan you fall under then call the administrator and find out if you'll need to provide a SSN in order to enroll. Since these are university plans they should be used to dealing with non-US citizens.

If you won't be able to get US coverage right away, you may want to get a travel insurance policy from a UK insurance company to cover you for a few weeks while you get this sorted out.

FLAG
By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Mar 5, 2013
Day Lily.
Awesome research martin. Brought up a brilliant point: using a contract from another country. As far as blue cross blue shield is concerned their ppo product (the most common) is valid, usable in 120+ countries. Its actually a world wide network. If you have a ppo in another country, if its bcbs (bcbs in america but any number of company names in other countries) you're good at innetwork ppo providers(bcbs of course) world wide, which of course is also good in the us. If its not blue cross blue shield (bcbs) what you have/would get (if not under wifes plan) check, that company may be world wide also and therefore very valid here in the us.

FLAG
By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Mar 5, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
Marc H wrote:
Are you suggesting that health-insurance companies are losing money because of people that engage in "hazardous activities?" Are you suggesting that health-insurance companies aren't profitable as a whole? I think that people have lost sight of the reason that insurance exists.


Nope. I am merely suggesting that in the eyes of insurance companies; statistically, someone that engages in "hazardous activities", be it recreational or occupational, has a higher chance of certain types of injuries than people who don't. So perhaps, perhaps, perhaps it is justifiable to amend the rates for such activities.

I am by no means defending insurance companies... Why would any of what I said suggest that I believe that insurance companies are not profitable as a whole?

Let me take a stab at why you think insurance exists (or ideally, should exist): as a communal pool of funds available for the people who need it at any given moment? To help those in need? To force people to be responsible and save for the inevitable moments they will need help? To distribute the risk of financial and medical turmoil across a large population to minimize the impact on the individual?

Profit: yes, revenue is necessary to maintain the logistics involved with managing such a pool of funds and processing the legitimacy and severity of claims (i.e. insurance actuaries, claims adjusters, service reps, etc.)... and yes, I agree with you that many many companies have apparently lost sight of the basic principles and profit more than they should... and yes, absolutely agree that they deny coverage more often than they rightfully should. But I don't think they're evil, just greedy (but most employees in an insurance company are just cogs, just trying to eek out a living like everyone else). Long story short; it's all a fucking mess right now (insurance being just a small part of it). And it's up to all of us to clean it up.

With all that said, I will reiterate: ultimately, it is up to us as consumers to be aware of the extent of our coverage and it is up to us as voters and the leaders of the country as... leaders to make sure that companies aren't set up to deny good, responsible people the ability to have the coverage they need.

Inform yourself. Read your contracts and the legislation you vote on. Understand them.

And double check your knot.

FLAG
By 20 kN
Administrator
From Hawaii
Mar 6, 2013
Martin le Roux wrote:
Not sure if your wife works for a company that provides health insurance as a job benefit, but if so the insurance company can't deny coverage. (And starting in 2014 all companies that employ 50 or more people will be required to provide health insurance to employees, spouses and dependents.) Actually most insurance companies provide out-of-network coverage for medical emergencies at the same level as in-network coverage. Okay, so that was the good news. The bad news is that your visa status may cause complications. Even though you're legally in the US, you probably won't have a social security number at first. You'll have to jump through some bureaucratic hoops to get one and this may take a couple of months. Until your SSN arrives, you'll have to resign yourself to being be treated as a non-person by most US government agencies, banks, insurance companies, etc.

Interesting. I guess I was getting hosed then when I looked into health insurance two years ago. Or maybe I just lost focus as I was too busy wondering why health insurance companies wanted to charge me $300 a month when I was only 24 years old, in perfect health, a nonsmoker, visited the doctor about once every few years and I did not partake in dangerous activities (that they knew about).

FLAG
By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Mar 6, 2013
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
Jon Zucco wrote:
Nope. I am merely suggesting that in the eyes of insurance companies; statistically, someone that engages in "hazardous activities", be it recreational or occupational, has a higher chance of certain types of injuries than people who don't. So perhaps, perhaps, perhaps it is justifiable to amend the rates for such activities.


I think "amend" is a far better term than "skyrocket"; unfortunately, I think "skyrocket" is a more accurate term for what insurance companies are doing to people that engage in high-rise activities. Denying coverage is also far too common.

John wrote:
I am by no means defending insurance companies... Why would any of what I said suggest that I believe that insurance companies are not profitable as a whole?


You're right; I misunderstood your post and unfairly attributed a point that you did not make or insinuate. I'd love to blame it on the several drinks I had last night, but it's certainly nobody's fault but my own. :-)

John wrote:
Let me take a stab at why you think insurance exists (or ideally, should exist): as a communal pool of funds available for the people who need it at any given moment? To help those in need? To force people to be responsible and save for the inevitable moments they will need help? To distribute the risk of financial and medical turmoil across a large population to minimize the impact on the individual?


Yes. Especially on the "communal-pool" and latter point. I'm not so sure about the "those-in-need" or "responsibility" points though.

John wrote:
Profit: yes, revenue is necessary to maintain the logistics involved with managing such a pool of funds and processing the legitimacy and severity of claims (i.e. insurance actuaries, claims adjusters, service reps, etc.)... and yes, I agree with you that many many companies have apparently lost sight of the basic principles and profit more than they should... and yes, absolutely agree that they deny coverage more often than they rightfully should.


I'm fully on board with all of this.

John wrote:
But I don't think they're evil, just greedy (but most employees in an insurance company are just cogs, just trying to eek out a living like everyone else).


It's not those that are just trying to "eek out a living" that I have a problem with. It's the executives that take an unfair portion and force those below them to "eek" that I have a very big problem with. I call that "evil," but I also understand that word has many different definitions to many different people.

John wrote:
Long story short; it's all a fucking mess right now (insurance being just a small part of it). And it's up to all of us to clean it up. With all that said, I will reiterate: ultimately, it is up to us as consumers to be aware of the extent of our coverage and it is up to us as voters and the leaders of the country as... leaders to make sure that companies aren't set up to deny good, responsible people the ability to have the coverage they need. Inform yourself. Read your contracts and the legislation you vote on. Understand them.


I'm mostly on board with this. But I do have one point of contention: I believe that health-insurance companies are more than just a "small part" of the mess in which we're currently wallowing. I think they play a major role in the skyrocketing costs of healthcare in the US. I'm not talking about the costs for just those of us that engage in high-risk activities. I think that the rising cost of healthcare has become unsustainable and the insurance companies executives are a serious player in that fiasco.

John wrote:
And double check your knot.


Touche. But I always double check my knot. And I'll check my partners' anytime they want. You just can't expect it without asking me to do so. ;-)

FLAG
By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Mar 7, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
Marc H wrote:
But I always double check my knot. And I'll check my partners' anytime they want. You just can't expect it without asking me to do so. ;-)


I think we are generally on the same page. Just thought I should clarify my points rather than be pigeonholed as one of them "evil" types.

I think society is slowly moving in the right direction. There will always be greedy folks, and right now, those people are unfortunately holding a lot of the cards and doing everything within their power to get their hooks into more.

But I honestly don't think it'll be that way forever. At least, it won't be quite so dichotomized as it has been recently. It might take a while; there are a lot of scrooges throwing wrenches into the gears of progress (and they afford A LOT of wrenches).

Anyhow, I have faith in humanity and I don't believe in evil, just stupidity. People will awaken and people will sleep.

It's all cyclical.

FLAG
By Nelson Day
From Joshua Tree, CA
Mar 14, 2013
me (about to sneeze)
In 15 years we will be living in a third world country with shitty health care and huge inflation. Basically Mexico.

Just do what the rest of the illegal immigrants do - go to the Emergency Room and tell them to send the bill to your PO box and just don't pay it. Won't be good for your credit, but who cares? The emergency room has to take care of you by law. A lot of people go to the emergency room and get "free drugs" because they are in 10/10 pain... You don't really "need" health insurance.

Note: I don't do this because I need good credit and have property and other things at stake. However, if I was a dirtbag and only owned a car, I would not be paying for health insurance... I would just be very careful. And when I did get hurt, I would just go to the ER and not pay the bill. What are they gonna do, take my car? If they can find me? Let all the "rich" people pay for my medical service! It's only fair, right?

FLAG
By Peteoria
Mar 14, 2013
Yes my name is Joe Smith & I live at PO box 420. Money isn't real anyways, so pay it with fake dollars everyone else slaves over. But it's a good idea to become a member of the AAC - I think they help out with the helicopter SAR part of things.

FLAG
By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
Mar 14, 2013
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.
Peteoria wrote:
Yes my name is Joe Smith & I live at PO box 420. Money isn't real anyways, so pay it with fake dollars everyone else slaves over. But it's a good idea to become a member of the AAC - I think they help out with the helicopter SAR part of things.


My Spot GPS gave me a form for rescue insurance too, I think it's $5/month. Not sure, the grandparents paid for the first year for a Christmas present.

FLAG
By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Mar 14, 2013
At the BRC
Nelson Day wrote:
In 15 years we will be living in a third world country with shitty health care and huge inflation. Basically Mexico. Just do what the rest of the illegal immigrants do - go to the Emergency Room and tell them to send the bill to your PO box and just don't pay it. Won't be good for your credit, but who cares? The emergency room has to take care of you by law. A lot of people go to the emergency room and get "free drugs" because they are in 10/10 pain... You don't really "need" health insurance. Note: I don't do this because I need good credit and have property and other things at stake. However, if I was a dirtbag and only owned a car, I would not be paying for health insurance... I would just be very careful. And when I did get hurt, I would just go to the ER and not pay the bill. What are they gonna do, take my car? If they can find me? Let all the "rich" people pay for my medical service! It's only fair, right?


This was addressed back when Rhoades posted his "how to steal ER care tips."

You are thinking too small. Don't just ask the Docs and Nurses to work hard to save your life for free. You should also rip off Safeway, REI, and the fools on Mountain Project. After all, you're a climber, you're special.

FLAG
By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Mar 14, 2013
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
Nelson Day wrote:
In 15 years we will be living in a third world country with shitty health care and huge inflation. Basically Mexico. Just do what the rest of the illegal immigrants do - go to the Emergency Room and tell them to send the bill to your PO box and just don't pay it. Won't be good for your credit, but who cares? The emergency room has to take care of you by law. A lot of people go to the emergency room and get "free drugs" because they are in 10/10 pain... You don't really "need" health insurance. Note: I don't do this because I need good credit and have property and other things at stake. However, if I was a dirtbag and only owned a car, I would not be paying for health insurance... I would just be very careful. And when I did get hurt, I would just go to the ER and not pay the bill. What are they gonna do, take my car? If they can find me? Let all the "rich" people pay for my medical service! It's only fair, right?


It's exactly this sort of mentality that will make America a 3rd world country. I hope you're being ironic or something.

FLAG
By amselby
Mar 15, 2013
Does anybody know what the best accident policies are for climbers at a reasonable price?

FLAG


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