So once this discrimination bill is reversed I wonder how many 'disassurance' companies will drop or decline coverage for us so called high risk policy holders because they cant supposedly cover/maintain their margins for their share-holders?
I wonder if this win-win may end up being a win-loose for some?
They can't do that. This bill pertains to group insurance offered by employers. They already cannot refuse coverage to some employees but not others, and this bill would close the loophole that denies coverage to injuries caused by these "high-risk" activities. I suppose in a specific employer had a high level of employees who engage in such activities, they could refuse to insure that entire group, but they cannot single out those who cycle,ski etc.
While no lover of the insurance industry, they do have to obey some simple mathematical laws when determining coverage and rates. Motorcycling is more risky than caging. That is an undisputable fact, if only because the severity of an accident is usually worse for a motorcycle than for a car. They should be able to charge higher rates for riskier activity...
On another note I think the law should be ammended to allow hospitals and insurance companies to deny coverage to those who were not taking even the most basic precautions (i.e. helmets)...
A good point and another argument in favor or reforming the entire health insurance system. Unfortunately, motorcycling is not the only risk category for which health "insurers" seek to exclude coverage. They also attempt, often successfully, to exclude individuals with health problems, even when those problems developed in an individual after years of paying premiums for coverage. Small employer groups are also effectively excluded by being priced out of the market through the practice of basing premiums on the claims experience of the group. One big claim and the whole group becomes uninsurable. This runs directly counter to the entire notion of insurance, which is to spread risk of catastrophic loss among as large of an at-risk population as possible. As long as "insurers" continue to be allowed to do business on the basis of avoiding risk, through excluding coverage for higher-risk individuals and groups, rather than by setting rates based on the actual risk of the entire group, small goups and even some large groups are going to continue to lose coverage. In the short term this may seem "fair" to those who currently have a low risk, but remember that at any time any person can experience a catastrophic illness or accident, or give birth to a disabled child. Once that happens, your chances of losing coverage are greatly increased. This is a risk we all assume in today's society as a direct result of the uncoordinated regulation of the insurance industry and the resulting widespread practice of risk avoidance through aggressive underwriting policies.
It seems to me that if the insurance industry wants to argue that motorcycling is risky (and it unquestionably is), and that they should not be required to take on risks that could reasonably be avoided by the insured, I guess I wouldn't be opposed to paying a rider to cover the additional risk of motorcycling. Maybe the same thing could be done for smokers and anyone who has been convicted of a DUI. That would both acknowledge and offset the increased risk rather than ignore it. But to exclude coverage altogether for those injured in motocycling accidents seems unreasonable to me. It is also counter to the expressed intent of Congress, so apparentlyI'm not alone on this one.
Come to think of it, I already do pay a rider for the medical risk of motorcycling in the form of medical coverage on my motorcycle insurance policy. I'm sure many other readers of this site do as well. It's not very expensive -- about $50 a year currently. I'm pretty confident that this rate is based on actual risk for motorcycle riders, which suggests to me that the additional cumulative risk for motorcycle riders is not huge.
Without getting into the philosophical issues this raises, the practical impact would be to impose the cost of the resulting uninsured cyclists from the insurance companies to the hospitals.
Hospital emergency rooms cannot (and would not, even if legally permitted) refuse treatment based on insurance or ability to pay, so when some helmetless rider ends up in the ER, he (I don't see that many helmetless female riders) will get treated. If his insurance won't pay, the hospital's only recourse would be to go after him for payment.
Since he is probably now out of a job (due to the accident), I guess they could get in line with his bank, finance company etc and try reposses his wrecked cycle, his car, his house, etc.
If he has a family, this will just add to their suffering -- not bad enough having Dad badly hurt, and having the family breadwinner out of a job, but they get kicked out of their house, and get to walk or take the bus everywhere they go.
Practical matter is a huge percentage of uninsured medical charges are just written off as uncollectable, and that cost just gets added onto every one else's charges anyway.
We are already sending families to the poor house to recover medical costs.
Then people get upset. So they complain to their legislators who pass more laws "regulating" medical treatment. Medical costs skyrocket even more causing more people to be unable to afford it. So more govt regulation is applied until we have socialized medicine.
Then the decision whether to let you live or die is made by a govt bureaucrat rather than an insurance company.
I'll take the insurance company. After all it's the bureaucrats who screwed it up in the first place.
I remeber 1-2 years ago when this issue first came up, and the actual problem, based on my recollections is much more insidious than not having medical insurance. The situation this is designed to correct does not have to do with acutally obtaining medical insurance. I have never been asked my an employeer who was offereing insurance how I planned to arrive at work. The actual problem would be in coverage.
That is to say the bill that congress immediately passed basically said that if your employeer is offering insurance, they can't pick and choose who it is offered to. In addition it stated that if you had coverage previously and a given condition was covered, then if there is no lapse between your policies, any new coverage you obtain had to cover it as well.
The problem for motocyclers (and skiiers, ATV riders, moutain climbers, etc.) was that the insurance agency got to the buerecrats (sp) and got them to say, essentially "Well, if you get injured while engaged in a high risk situation unrealted to your job, we don't actually have to pay your medical bills". So you would be going along on your bike, have some sort of accident, get taken to the hospital, tell your S.O. "Don't worry hon, this is what we have insurance for." Give the hospital your card, get your treatment, go home, recover, and several weeks later get a bill in the mail for all the medical treatment since the insurance company denied your claim because you were injured while on a motorcyle (or skiing, rock climbing, etc.)
The kicker is that while what you were doing was perfectly legal, albeit high risk, people involved in illegal activities such as Drunk Driving would have any injuries that occured while doing so covered, as that was not listed as a "high risk leisure activity".
This is such a serious issue that any argument on it, in the present, wastes precious time on achieving what needs to get done now! This link will take you to the AMA site where you can contact your Congressperson:
Somebody above me had it right: this is just an age-old business scam to save fat insurance companies money by denying care to groups that don't have rich lobbyists protecting them. It's so corrupt it makes you want to puke - but then so is our entire federal election and governing system.
This sucks especially because it involves me getting screwed, not some other poor sap.
The good news is that every snivelling dark lord responsible for squeezing this scam through is suffering from a supreme lack of self esteem, due largely to the tiny, shrivelled member curled in his tighty whities.