Poll: Did you have Medical Insurance/Coverage when you took a long Hike

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  1. #1
    Registered User Trail Dog's Avatar
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    Default Medical Insurance

    Did you have Medical Insurance/Coverage when you took a thru hike or long distance hike on the AT?

    I put this up in the medical section and the thru hiking section why not the poll section? This is seeming to be my biggest problem since my family thinks i am nuts to go it without insurance. I wont be in school so i wont be covered under the parents and wont be at work so i wont have theirs.

    any sugestions?

    Dog

  2. #2
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    Default medical coverage

    as retired serviceman my coverage should always be there, but in 2000 my son started a southbound after graduating college in maine. because he was no longer a student his coverage was to be terminated. i was able to continue his coverage with cobra for up to six months for about $125 per month. by the time he left the trail here in pa with many stress fractures of the feet and lower leg i got the cost of the premiums back in full plus. btw his starting pack weight was about 50 lbs. and he's about a 145 pounder. ive got him down to about 30 pounds now. i thinkhe's learned not to kill himself on the trail. his trail name was gumby and he was hiking with homeless.
    SEMPER PARATUS

  3. #3
    Just Passin' Thru.... Kozmic Zian's Avatar
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    Default Med Ins...

    Yea, well, I did't have it in '96's Thu' , but I wonder ..... what if something serious happened out there. Broken Leg, arm. I did hurt myself in '00, up in the Smokys in an Ice Storm. Slipped in some ice goin into Tri-Corner Knob and sat on my foot. Hyper-extended both interior and exterior crucia ligaments. Made to Damascus, but had to get off. Did'nt seek Med care, too much money, no ins...but wish I'd had it. I think the next time I go distance....I'lll get some Med Coverage. Temporary if I can. [email protected]
    Kozmic [email protected] :cool: ' My father considered a walk in the woods as equivalent to churchgoing'. ALDOUS HUXLEY

  4. #4
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    Health insurance is over-rated. I felt more safe on the trail than at home not having any coverage. All your doing is hiking, the worst thing that can happen to you is you get lyme disease and that is a $15 prescription. I would say most of the thru-hikers I met didn't have any coverage.

  5. #5

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    Medical coverage is very quickly becoming something only the very rich can afford. You can now see it on the trail, you have the dirt bags and the
    B&B to B&B hikers. I'm not putting any one down, I'd love to be a B&B hiker and would jump at the chance.

  6. #6
    GO ILLINI! illininagel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hustler
    Health insurance is over-rated. I felt more safe on the trail than at home not having any coverage. All your doing is hiking, the worst thing that can happen to you is you get lyme disease and that is a $15 prescription.
    Why would Lyme disease be the worst thing that can happen to you? The AT doesn't exempt its hikers from the ailments of the world. Illnesses like cancer and heart disease can impact anyone. Lesser problems like appendicitis or broken bones can still be very costly to treat.

    Last week, I went in for a 15 minute outpatient test. I think the bill of $1,500 ($100 per minute) hurt me more than the medical symptoms that I went in for.

    There is no question that you are more likely to be injured during a long hike than if you were at home. If you can afford it, not having health insurance is simply irresponsible. If you should become ill, you pass your costs along to the taxpayers rather than cover it yourself.
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Abraham Lincoln

    "If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
    Registered User Nightwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay
    Medical coverage is very quickly becoming something only the very rich can afford.
    I don't know where you get that one. I was covered by my wife's insurance while out there, and it doesn't cost her an arm and a leg. I also have Medicare, which is very affordable, if you qualify.

    Expensive insurance is nothing new, it's just being used as an issue to stir the pot in this election, which has been full of smoke and mirrors from both sides.

  8. #8

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    franklooper

    You're one of the lucky ones then..... I'm self imployed and my medical ins. is not cheap, plus the list of things/ meds. not covered gets longer every day. You'll find once you get older and retire or become self employed and are no longer covered by insurance through an employer that medical insurance is a whole new ball game.

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    You got that right art-to-linda. Well said.
    For with God, nothing is impossible! Luke 1:37

  10. #10

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    Hustler, I know someone who had an open fracture of his lower leg two months into his thru-hike. Going without appropriate health insurance is playing Russian Roulette.

  11. #11
    Registered User Nightwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by art to linda
    You'll find once you get older and retire or become self employed and are no longer covered by insurance through an employer that medical insurance is a whole new ball game.
    I am retired, if you call disabled by stroke brain-damage retired. Medicare is half-decent. My wife--not retired--is the working one. She gets kinda low pay, but decent benefits.

    There's always a tradeoff. When I was a tool-and-die maker, some shops had good insurance, some had bad, and some had none. With approximately 690,000 doctors in the U.S. and over 1,000,000 lawyers, it's easy to see why insurance costs so much, and doctors charge so much.

    I didn't get those numbers from a politician, I asked ask.com. They're probably off a little, but you get the general idea.

  12. #12
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    Health Insurance is luck of the draw. A temporary policy with a high deductable is advisable for a long hike just in case one should be seriously injured or become ill. Regular ongoing coverage is another story. I used to have a decent policy through work, but that is gone now. I was eligible for COBRA and the quote from Aetna for myself and family almost gave me a heart attack when they had the nerve to ask $2,100 per month. I did not have any pre-existing illness and was fit enough to rejoin the National Guard which carries no coverage unless I get activated. Something is going to have to give before this health coverage issue becomes a national crisis. I used to be naive enough to not worry about being uninsured and now after over twenty years of good coverage I know the anxiety that millions of others share. Personally I think it is disgraceful when one seeks medical care as a self pay patient and the rates charged are much more than those rates given to those that are insured

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    Default I'm thankful I had health insurance

    Let me tell you a little story about why you should have health insurance. Somewhere in NY/NJ I got bit by a tick. A couple weeks later, in MA I had a fever of 104, splitting headache, was almost too weak too walk and severe joint pain. So into the hospital I go. It looked like lyme disease at first but the headache and high fever were puzzling. The fever was so high that immediate action was required. A day in the ER and $3000 later I came out with a diagnosis of Ehrliciosis and a kidney infection. Ehrliciosis is potentially fatal and the internet is filled with more than a few stories of people who've died from it because they weren't diagnosed early enough. If I didn't have health insurance who knows what I would have done.

    That said, I'm fortunate to be from Canada, where medical insurance, even for travel insurance is reasonably priced.

    Heart attack, broken ankle, cancer, anything can happen.

  14. #14
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oruoja
    Health Insurance is luck of the draw. A temporary policy with a high deductable is advisable for a long hike just in case one should be seriously injured or become ill. Regular ongoing coverage is another story. I used to have a decent policy through work, but that is gone now. I was eligible for COBRA and the quote from Aetna for myself and family almost gave me a heart attack when they had the nerve to ask $2,100 per month. I did not have any pre-existing illness and was fit enough to rejoin the National Guard which carries no coverage unless I get activated. Something is going to have to give before this health coverage issue becomes a national crisis. I used to be naive enough to not worry about being uninsured and now after over twenty years of good coverage I know the anxiety that millions of others share. Personally I think it is disgraceful when one seeks medical care as a self pay patient and the rates charged are much more than those rates given to those that are insured

    Agreed, Health insurance for the working class here in the USA is already in crisis, most of the other industrialized nations of the world already have universal coverage for all thier citizens. Careful you my become a left-winger, but you'll be in good company
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Default Insurance premiums

    If $1200 per month is all you pay, then don't bitch. I'm paying more than that.

    When you consider premiums like that, the high cost of drugs, the cost to the Federal budget for the Medicare program, cost of malpractice insurance and such, then it's a sure sign the the health care system in this country is seriously flawed and needs a major overhaul, not just a band-aid.

  16. #16
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    $1200 for health insurance is totally not worth it. You're getting raped by the man! I felt perfectly safe not having any coverage on the trail. You have to know your body and not push it too hard. If I had to be covered on the trail it would have at least doubled the cost of my hike (@ 200 per month). Statistically the most dangerous part of hiking the trail is traveling to and from the trail head. I would go with the risk of not having it. I'm a hustler and I'm not going to get hustled by the man.

  17. #17
    GO ILLINI! illininagel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hustler
    I felt perfectly safe not having any coverage on the trail. You have to know your body and not push it too hard.
    Again, I'm not sure where you are getting your feeling of safety from. Only God can protect us from the many diseases and illnesses of this World. Things like appendicitis have absolutely nothing to do with pushing your body too hard. Certainly, thru-hiking only increases the chances of an injury.
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Abraham Lincoln

    "If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." Abraham Lincoln

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    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illininagel
    Again, I'm not sure where you are getting your feeling of safety from. Only God can protect us from the many diseases and illnesses of this World. Things like appendicitis have absolutely nothing to do with pushing your body too hard. Certainly, thru-hiking only increases the chances of an injury.
    good handwashing and good nutrition are very important, many people who believe in a god get sick or have appendicitis or heart attacks. btw this is not the WB and religion thread.
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

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    Quote Originally Posted by smokymtnsteve
    good handwashing and good nutrition are very important, many people who believe in a god get sick or have appendicitis or heart attacks. btw this is not the WB and religion thread.
    She referred to GOD, not 'a god'. Let's stick to the subject OK, or go to the other threads, we've been warned already

    As for the good handwashing and good nutrition - what do these have to do with Medical Insurance while you hike? Since when do insurance companies ask about these two things?

    If you are concerned about large medical bills due to a possible accident, then get insurance. If you want to wing it - don't.
    For with God, nothing is impossible! Luke 1:37

  20. #20
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    What does god have to do with medical insurance?

    good handwashing and good nutrition can go a long way in helping you not become ill.
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

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