View Full Version : health insurance

08-08-2003, 11:29
I'm thinking of trying a thru hike again and if I do it I'll end up quitting my job. Anybody know of a good source of reasonably priced health insurance for a hike, that could be left in force until after I find a job when the hike is over? I know about COBRA but our company plan is a Cadillac that I won't be able to afford after I quit! Thanks all....

08-08-2003, 11:35

I've recently been faced with the same issue. I left my Company and I am currently self-employed. The COBRA premiums that I was offered were very expensive. I am going with Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage now---less than half the cost of the comparable COBRA coverage.

I would caution you to research the coverage options and to apply on a timely basis. I've been amazed at the number of questions and follow-up that insurance companies now go through as part of the application process.

I believe that "quotesmith.com" will give you a fast method of comparing policies from different companies.

I hope this helps...


08-08-2003, 13:12
Before I left for my hike a came close to getting this a la carte deal for catastrophic injuries. High deductible, and I could pick what i wanted coverage for. I think it would have been less than a 100 a month. I think I looked online for personal health insurance and submitted some form.

My wife's work was nice enough to cover us while we hiked. Big trail angle i guess

08-08-2003, 13:47
We went with golden key, or rule, or something like that. We also go something this a deductible that was 1,000. The key to remember here is you are looking for something that will mitigate your losses, not keep you from spending only a co-pay. So a big deductible that will cover you for something like 1 million is good.

Good luck. It's an important question that I am going to have to answer with the next 1 1/2 years myself, I hope!

Gravity Man

08-08-2003, 15:32
I agree. You aren't going to be able to afford a conventional health insurance plan here since you are unemployed and homeless. What you want is something that will keep a serious illness or hospital stay from breaking your bank for the next twenty years. A catastrophic health care plan is the ticket. It won't cover the little stuff (but keep the records because they may play into the deductable) but will cover hospital stays for broken limbs, serious bouts with debilitating gastrointestinal illness, etc.

If you are an a tight budget, wrap your head around the idea that a bout of giardiarsis, lyme disease, Norwalk virus or something else requiring prescription medication, is going to be VERY expensive and will either put you into credit card debt from hell, or knock you off the trail to pay for your treatments.

I strongly recommend that folks budget at least 2 dollars a mile to provide enough money for living expenses along the way, gear replacement and repair and unexpected surprises. Depending upon how high you live in towns along the way, you may be better served budgeting 3 dollars a mile.

All it takes is a broken ankle without insurance to wreck your personal finances.

08-09-2003, 10:42
I recenty purchased a short term plan through FORTIS. My local insurance agent hooked me up. THe plan was for my son who was no longer eligible for my health plan. I believe it cost 260 bucks for 6 months coverage with 1,000 deductible. You can choose the size of your deductible but the premiums begin to mount up. My son was in good health and I was insuring against a bad accident as he is an avid rock climber. I did file a claim with Fortis and they have been very responsive. Fortis insurance is renewable once for total coverage of one year. It is designed to be transitional coverage. You can find them on the web and design your own coverage..... I am not aware if they cover prescription drugs or not.... I agree with the posters above that it would be a very risky proposition to hike without any coverage. THe chances of injury or sickness seems pretty high....Good luck.

08-14-2003, 00:27
Thank you all for your replies. I know that there is always info on the web but it is always nice to hear from actual people. There is no substitute for experience!

08-14-2003, 09:18
I recommend asking your insurance agent or a local independent agent that you trust.

When I went to grad school just after getting married my wife and I would not have insurance. So in checking things out, State Farm had the least expensive plan for major medical that we could find. It had a $500-$1000 deductible. Thank the Lord we never had to file, but would have been covered if we had. We put the deductible in a special interest bearing account in case we needed it. I think we saved quite a bit by paying 6 months at a time. This was my experience.

My other experience to relay is Shop Around. I saved almost $400 a year on some property insurance shopping around. I think that is how the insurance industry works.