You may lose health bennies if you ride

I pass this along for your information. Be sure to give thanks to our friendly previous administration:

Thanks Larry Shepherd MnUSA WEB Monitor

Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2001 2:54 PM

Subject: Health Insurance Discrimination In Effect RECREATIONISTS AND OTHERS MAY LOSE HEALTH BENEFITS

Lansing, Michigan -- New federal regulations that legalize health-care discrimination against snowmobilers, motorcyclists, horse riders and others involved in recreational activities have taken effect despite concerted efforts by snowmobilers, skiers, motorcyclists, equestrians and others to change the rules, the American Council of Snowmobile Association (ACSA) reports.

The new regulations, which became the law of the land on May 8, are the end result of a rulemaking process that dragged on for nearly five years after Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

The new rules state that an employer cannot refuse health-care coverage to an employee based on participation in legal recreational activities after working hours, but that health-care benefits can be denied for injuries suffered while taking part in those activities.

The rules, issued jointly by the Internal Revenue Service, the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, and the Health Care Finance Administration, directly contradict the intent of Congress in passing this law.

In fact, language in the Congressional Record at the time noted that the law "is intended to ensure, among other things, that individuals are not excluded from health-care coverage due to their participation in activities such as motorcycling, snowmobiling, all-terrain vehicle riding, horseback riding, skiing and other similar activities."

Many recreation groups worked hard to get that language included in the Congressional Record after uncovering incidents in which employers were discriminating against recreationists, leaving them without coverage when they were involved in recreational activities.

The new regulations went into effect despite the efforts of many organizations and individuals who took the time to comment on the proposed rules, and to contact members of Congress asking that they urge the new Bush administration to change the discriminatory parts of the regulations.

"These rules make the entire law meaningless," Christine Jourdain, ACSA Executive Director. "They open the door to the elimination of health coverage for all types of legal recreational activities, from snowmobiling to riding a bike to running or walking."

Recreation based organizations are planning to join forces to go back to Congress in hopes of getting a new bill passed reinstating the original intent of the health-insurance bill.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson's staff indicated that he didn't feel he had the authority to change the language of the rules, and that he was reluctant to do anything that might interfere with states' rights to determine the benefit coverage in their states.

The rules, only now taking effect, were issued on Jan. 5 in the final days of President Clinton's administration.

In the meantime, Jourdain is urging snowmobilers and all recreationists to check their health-insurance policies to see whether they would receive health-care benefits if they are hurt while participating in legal recreational activities.



Sorry for making you puke.


This is an outrage and a disgrace, and I plan on writing my state's congressman & senators to express my disgust. I suggest you do the same.

Guys, I just don't believe this. At what point would the discrimination stop? What about snow skiers/boarders? Water skiers? Mountain bikers? Roller bladers? Hockey players? Rugby? Football? etc... Now, I could be wrong, however, rememeber to believe 1/2 of what you see and nothing of what you hear!

Let's see: taking our riding areas, restricting the performance of the bikes, OHV "registration" to ride in the middle of nowhere, and now denying us coverage for injuries, are we under attack or what?

And to think you actually believed that we lived in a representative republic.

As a friend of mine said, now you know that if you hurt yourself riding, well you must have done it getting out of bed that morning. :)


What about smokers?

Pole smokers? (sorry guys)

People that drive small crappy dangerous cars?

People that drive in the left lane under the speed limit?

I can think of a lot more if I want.

Shouldn't all these high risk groups be banned too?

How rediculous!

You are right on the pole smokers. They take up a ton of insurance money. The cost of a hospitol visit for a few broken bones is a hell of a lot cheaper than getting treated for aids from smoking pole. So I guess it is safer to smoke pole than be a dirt bike rider. It must really suck if a person is both.

[This message has been edited by mike68 (edited 05-16-2001).]

Originally posted by mike68:

I must really suck if a person is both.

Did you really mean "I"? :)

That is definitely a place where you don't want a typo!


[This message has been edited by Freezer (edited 05-16-2001).]

Thanks freezer.

Mike, You're lucky there's a edit feature on this. You may have lost a lot of riding buddies if there wasn't.



When in doubt, GAS IT!

What are you, YELLOW?


I can see Kevin's influence on you already!! :)


It was potentially disasterous. It would have taken me a while to figure out why nobody would talk or ride with me.

I'm certainly not about to advocate what I do...but, the last time I crashed M/X'ing and cracked two ribs, I simply told my physician...when he asked what happened....that I fell off the tailgate of my pickup while unloading firewood. I find it highly insulting that some forms of recreational injuries will be covered while others are not. I find it ironic that insurance companies would have us be active to prevent health issues from an inactive lifestyle while at the same time denying us coverage if we ARE active and get injured. Appears to me that ultimately, the insurance companies will only insure people who "workout"...don't smoke...don't drink...don't ride motorcycles of any type...etc. But, they WILL cover football, basketball, soccer...etc. injuries. You know, the socially acceptable injury types. but will be denied coverage if they wrench a back muscle..or damage a vertebrae disc. Being a "young" baby boomer, and hoping to retire from my present job at 55, things are not looking so rosy. I was hoping to enter the dirt bike field for pure enjoyment but am not sure if I can afford to make up the difference that I will lose from my present employer's health insurance coverage. Thanks Bill and Hiliary....especially you, Hiliary. As bleak as it is for the baby boomers, it's even bleaker for people who are younger. We baby boomers will tax the health care system to the limit and leave annhilation in our wake.

Why don't we just say "NO"! We are not going to accept that. Do we not pay taxes to cover benefits for those who can't or won't pay for themselves? Much of the cost of medical now is to cover those who can't pay. Many of the crisis care centers in LA had to close their doors because they were treating so many gun shot victims. Puncture wounds from gun shots ,knives, et cetera are very expensive to treat. Much more than an accasional broken bone or sprain that we might get riding. I also do not tell the doctor the truth when I go in because of a bike injury. Just for that reason. I don't want them to know that I even ride a bike. Plus now they violate your medical privacy as well by sharing information with insurance companies. I think its time that we stop complaining quietly and start saying "F___ You" to them! By the way, I pay 100% of my own medical to the tune of 400+ a month. The really sad part is that I hardly ever use it. Oh well, I don't know if that was .02 cents worth or not but I feel better. :)

What a croc o ship. Thats great if you can walk into the hospital and tell them that you hurt yourself knitting. But what about the poor bastard that has to take that ex$pensive helicopter ride at around 6g's. We are paying them money to cover us right I.ll say it again what a croc of ship!!!!

don't crash too hard, huge

Howard, it is a croc. I did have to pay 5 grand for one of my sons to get air lifted to the hospital(out of my own pocket). My insurance didn't cover it. I think there is a solution but need to do a little further checking before I state it. Thanks, for giving me a good ride at Elkins. Look forward to trying to follow you next time. Paul

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