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End health insurance discrimination against motorcyclists

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TO ALL Thumpers and Thumpettes

Did you know there is a loop-hole in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) signed in 1996 which allows health insurance companies to discriminate against “motorcycling, skiing, snowmobiling, all terrain vehicle-riding, horseback rinding and other similar activities”

To find out more on this issue click on this AMA article. http://www.amadirectlink.com/news/2007/HIPAAbill.asp

This is a nationwide issue, concerning all 50 states. To HELP, please contact your local congress(wo)man, and ask for their support in passing HR1076 and S616 companion bills to amend the HIPPA act. Both companion bills have to pass for this discrimination to stop!

I just attended a 4 day AMA sponsored “Ride into Political action” in DC where CORVA, various local ABATE, nohvcc.org, MRF, NHTSA, American Recreation Coalition, and various other organization learned about protecting our rights to ride.

What I (we) learned, is contacting your local district congress(wo)man with a simple personalized email, fax or phone call has more power then you think. Do not send any postal “snail” mail. The scanning for anthrax makes these letters sticky and goopy. Letters written in ink pens turn into rorschach drawings. A personalized visit is still the #1 way to take action on Bills up for vote, since many of you do not live as close as I do to DC; I encourage you to contact your local district congressperson and act on this NOW.

To find your local district congressperson go here:

http://www.house.gov/ (top left corner just type in your zip code)

http://www.senate.gov/ (top right corner click on your state)

Thank you for your support.

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Here is the AMA article: for easier reference

AMA backs bill to end health insurance discrimination against motorcyclists

The AMA is urging motorcyclists to contact their members of Congress in support of two bipartisan bills that would end health-care insurance discrimination against motorcyclists, ATV enthusiasts, and participants in other legal recreational activities.

The bills were introduced in both the House and the Senate on February 15.

Help pass this bill

You can help the AMA build support for these bills in the U.S. House and Senate. Visit the AMA Rapid Response Center and tell your elected representatives where you stand on health-care discrimination against motorcyclists.

Reps. Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas) and Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) introduced H.R. 1076, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act," in the House, and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) introduced identical companion legislation, S. 616, in the Senate.

The bills seek to bar employers from discriminating, in the health-insurance programs they offer their workers, against those who take part in activities such as motorcycling, ATV riding, skiing, snowmobiling or horseback riding.

During the 108th Congress, the full Senate unanimously passed this legislative language; the House, however, adjourned before enacting the legislation. As a result, the legislation was re-introduced again this session of Congress.

"This important legislation would prevent health insurance discrimination against citizens who take part in legal, recreational activities such as motorcycle riding and snowmobiling," said Stupak. "I look forward to continuing to work with the American Motorcyclist Association and other organizations on this issue."

Burgess also credited the AMA's advocacy. "The development of this bill could not have been possible without bipartisan congressional support and the hard work of the American Motorcyclist Association," he said.

In introducing the Senate bill, Collins referred to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.

"While I was pleased that the rule prohibits health plans and issuers from denying coverage to individuals who engage in certain types of recreational activities, such as skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling or motorcycling, I am concerned that it would allow insurers to deny health benefits for an otherwise covered injury that results from participation in these activities."

"Folks who enjoy riding their Harleys should not be put at risk because of a health insurance loophole," said Feingold, whose state is home to Harley-Davidson Motor Company. "I will continue to work in a bipartisan fashion and with groups like the AMA to ensure outdoor recreation lovers have the peace of mind they deserve."

HIPAA originally prohibited employers from denying health-care coverage based on a worker's pre-existing medical conditions or participation in legal activities, such as motorcycling. But later, federal bureaucrats reversed the law, writing rules to allow health-insurance discrimination against motorcyclists and others. Employees were guaranteed the right to health-care coverage, but not guaranteed any benefits under those plans.

Motorcyclists were outraged when federal bureaucrats went against the will of Congress, and the AMA immediately lobbied legislators to right this wrong. Others involved in the effort include the All-Terrain Vehicle Association, the American Council of Snowmobile Associations, the American Horse Council, the BlueRibbon Coalition, the Motorcycle Industry Council, Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and the National Ski Areas Association.

"This loophole written by federal bureaucrats must be closed once and for all," said Edward Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. "We encourage AMA and ATVA members, as well as all motorcyclists and ATV riders, to contact members of their congressional delegations to support this important legislation."

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HIPAA originally prohibited employers from denying health-care coverage based on a worker's pre-existing medical conditions or participation in legal activities, such as motorcycling. But later, federal bureaucrats reversed the law, writing rules to allow health-insurance discrimination against motorcyclists and others. Employees were guaranteed the right to health-care coverage, but not guaranteed any benefits under those plans.

This is a very important concept. Actually it is more than one important concept:

-cannot discriminate against a perfectly legal activity regarding health care coverage.

-Insurance companies can in fact say people are covered, and yet deny benefits.

-"perfectly legal activities" - could mean dirt biking, riding a Harley, riding a horse, or eating too much Mc Donald's - or even less healthy habits...

The significance of this concept seems huge.

As long as Harley & AMA are involved - this is probably going to pass. Pretty tough to get people moving on TT on these issues, any pre-typed out "Click here to send letter go local congress person" sites?

.

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At the convention I went I was told pre-typed letters can be considered as 1 entry (so if 500 folks sent it the same letter word for word, there is a possibility it can be counted as 1); that really depends on how the congressperson feels that day.

On the AMA article there is a rapid response, you can use to contact your congressperson. I do suggest perhaps adding a few personalized words.

http://www.amadirectlink.com/news/2007/HIPAAbill.asp

The AMA was involved last year - They got 177 House cosponsors which would have probably passed the Bill if they didn’t adjourn. However in the Senate they only got 9 cosponosors. There is no way to know what would have happened in the Senate

There was no representation from Harley Davidson CO. so i can’t speak for them.

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If TT members are only here to bash people and make sexiest jokes, or discuss other non related topics That is up to them- I am just here spreading the word. If you don't want to listen then don't. Its called Freedom of Speech.

BUT the next time your health insurance company doesn't take care of your injuries while riding a motocross track or the local trails, or just driving down the road on your street bike. That's your fault not mine.

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Motogirl is right, apathy sucks..getting hurt sucks worse. Having your insurance company deny your claim and leave you hanging with a freaking huge medical bill and not being able to work sucks the most.

"I fell off a ladder" only works the first few times...believe me I know.

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Thanks for the head's up on the legislation. I'll send a few letters / e-mails.

I know it is a form of insurance fraud, but I would never tell my medical provider or insurance company that I was injured riding my street or dirt bike, unless there is a police report to prove it. If I say that I fell off a ladder at home, the burden of proof is definitely on the insurance company.

I hate liars and thieves, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over making my insurance carrier take care of a legitimate medical bill, no matter where it happened.

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Don't just use the AMA rapid response. Take the time to make personal contact with your US Senators AND Congressman/woman. Ask them to not only support these bills, ask them to co-sponsor them! after a few weeks, follow up with a letter or phone call to their home AND Washington offices. This is not something that will "probobly pass because the AMA and Harley is involved"... It's going to take a strong voice from the public to end this!!!

The AMA and the MRF (Motorcycle Rider Foundation) has been trying to get this passed for over 6 years! That translates to 3 sessions of Congress!!!

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I was actually asked if I had any dangerous objests, such as trampoliens(did not spell that right)--but yeah, they try to make sure they will not have to insure you for anything.

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Here's what I wrote to Senator Ried (D-NV)

S.423, the bill to encourage health care parity for recreational activities, needs to pass. As a 28 year old father, I pay for HMO health insurance for me, my wife, and my stepson. As a family, we ride motorcycles, snow ski, and water ski. I would not be happy if I were denied health coverage based on my choice of legal activity. There is a reason I choose to buy insurance; to have coverage in an emergency. I believe I speak for many other paying insurance customers. If S.423 does not pass, we do not have insurance. All we really have is a monthly bill to a company who can discriminate against us.

Please vote to pass S.423

I thought it was important to mention that we PAY for insurance. I noticed Ensign was co-sponsoring and sent him a "thank you".

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The first time I was injured back about 5 yrs ago,I tolded them it happened on a dirtbike.A friend of mine who knows all about the fight the AMA has taken on, warned me not to make the same mistake. Slipped on ice, fell off ladder, car fell on me, fell out of tree while trimming, got into a fight,ect. Thats sad.

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2 more points I wanted to make, Then I will get off my podium.

1- Health Care Providers (Sorry don't remember which state it was) are not even obligated to show your actual policy coverage in detail. Instead they send you a generic policy which your employer has established with your health care provider. So until u actually get hurt, you wont know if its covered. That's totally bogus but it is done.

2 - Another scenario, could be you change jobs. Hence you get to choose a new Provider/HMO. It is becoming more and more prevalent Health Care Providers will ask if you own a Horse? A motorcycle? jetski? and deny total coverage. Now ur really SOL.

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Yea when ever they ask you what happen dont say DIRTBIKE! instead you slipped and fell, its amazing how many times Ive slipped and fell, or fell off the house roof!

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Thanks for the head's up on the legislation. I'll send a few letters / e-mails.

I know it is a form of insurance fraud, but I would never tell my medical provider or insurance company that I was injured riding my street or dirt bike, unless there is a police report to prove it. If I say that I fell off a ladder at home, the burden of proof is definitely on the insurance company. I hate liars and thieves, but I wouldn't lose any sleep over making my insurance carrier take care of a legitimate medical bill, no matter where it happened.

You hate liars and thieves but, what do you call what your doing by knowingly committing insurance fraud. :lol:

On another note ... if your looking for an insurance co. that once they write a policy they won't change it on you in the future. ie. if they cover you for riding motorcycles when you get the policy then they will continue to cover you until you get rid of the policy.

PM and me and I'll give you the info.:applause:

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Learn these words.

I fell off a ladder onto a bicycle then to a wagon... in the desert... then into the mud.

I see everyone beat me to it :applause:

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It's really amazing how many people HAVE TO put on full motorcycle gear and get all dirty before working around the house on a ladder.

We need to change that..write in and support the change.

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i love living in Canada where no matter what you will get almost all health benifits covered.

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