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  1. #1
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    Default how many of you wound up going to the doctor during your thru hike?

    Its a question of health insurance.. Is there a poll that asks this question on this forum?

  2. #2
    GA-ME 2011
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    Don't know if a poll has been done. What's the question, going to a doctor on your hike or health insurance issues?
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  3. #3

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    You need health insurance. Whether you are hiking the trail or not is irrelevant.

  4. #4
    Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Great question.... honest.

    for some I have read in a few books about gout, loosing toes, and bleeding of the hips.... very cool.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  5. #5
    Registered User Juice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    You need health insurance. Whether you are hiking the trail or not is irrelevant.
    The only thing I need it for is a castrophic event. Aside from that, it's been a waste of money.
    Buy the ticket, you take the ride. - Hunter S. Thompson

  6. #6
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    where can i get catastrophic insurance?

  7. #7
    Garlic
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    You can get inexpensive hospitalization insurance with a high deductible. It won't cover office visits, but if a car hits you you're covered. You need a savings account to cover the high deductible, typically $5000 or more. It's not a bad idea to have a savings account like that anyway (but don't get me started on Americans' savings habits).

    Back to the original question, no, I've never had to see a doctor on a long hike. I visit my dentist/hygienist before and after. I've never felt as healthy I have while hiking every day.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  8. #8

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    Went to one doctor in '95 (brown recluse spider bite).
    That's the only time in 6 thru-hikes.
    Cost me $350.
    I figure I've done 3 of my thru hikes on the money I have saved from not paying the high health insurance costs in the states.

    If I was scared, I'd do one of those high deductible policies like garlic is talking about.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  9. #9
    Registered User DavidNH's Avatar
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    such ignorance! If you DON'T have health insurance .. you'd pay a couple hundred to see a Doc about a cough, break a leg or arm bone.. thousands.. get lyme disease.. thousands, have an annual physical would run you a thousand plus, one (ONE) visit to the Emergency room can more than double the cost of you entire trip. YES you absolutely need health insurance.

  10. #10

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    Yeah, I went to the doctor in Waynesboro for giardia. I had insurance but, as usual, it never paid the bill. The only two words that company knew were "not covered".

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNH View Post
    such ignorance! If you DON'T have health insurance .. you'd pay a couple hundred to see a Doc about a cough, break a leg or arm bone.. thousands.. get lyme disease.. thousands, have an annual physical would run you a thousand plus, one (ONE) visit to the Emergency room can more than double the cost of you entire trip. YES you absolutely need health insurance.
    How much would it cost to buy insurance to cover those sorts of things?
    For an American, not working and without a plan?
    For a Canadian, travelling in the USA as a tourist?
    Do you have to be careful about whether hiking in place like the Whites or Katahdin is actually covered?

  12. #12
    bamboo bob's Avatar
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    One year (my first year) I left in MA for Plantar Fasciitis which is bottom of foot hurting like hell. ( I have no idea why this is in bold)
    Any way I could only walk one mile an hour so I went
    home. I never went to a doctor until I went for an annual physical and the problem solved itself after some months. The point is insurance (which I have) would not have made a difference but if i had gone to a doctor it would have racked up bills for tests, etc.
    The only other time I left was for a toothache, which I had insurance for. He yanked the tooth and I took the gold crown to a
    buy gold" shop and they gave me $118 for it. So you can actually make money from problems on the trail.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  13. #13
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    Saw doctor for a foot problem on the PCT, morton's neuroma (ultimately had surgery for that, but at the time just got a steroid injection). Saw the doctor on the AT for giardia (or at least something "giardia-like", wasn't ever diagnosed). Also stopped by in a clinic because I had strained a muscle and didn't know for sure what was wrong with me for a while in the Whites.
    While I did see a doctor on the CDT too, that was scheduled in advance, more a "have to see one whether hiking or not about this condition" sort of thing, so don't think that applies so much.

    Don't really recall how much insurance covered these visits; I'm pretty sure that they did. I think some cases where one person might go to a doctor, another might sort of "tough it out" --- obviously depending on the specific issue at hand.
    Gadget
    PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO, PNT: 2014+2016

  14. #14
    BYGE "Biggie" TOMP's Avatar
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    If you are a person that feels that they have to have insurance then you probably feel this way on the trail or off the trail. But for those that currently dont think they need insurance (and dont have it), I guess its a matter of do you feel that you would need it more while on the trail. Are you more propone to injury or sickness? Are there any good statistics on this?

  15. #15
    Registered User Ktaadn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    You need health insurance. Whether you are hiking the trail or not is irrelevant.
    Why do I need insurance?

  16. #16
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    One thing insurance companies are very good at is statistics. Some might share them. Glad I live in Canuckistan, but I also travel in the State's quite a bit without insurance. For a long hike I would look into it for sure, not so much because of the risks but the duration. Any Canuck's out there that have done a long hike? Probably should start a poll, one for Yanks and one for foriegners. Important topic.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktaadn View Post
    Why do I need insurance?
    you don't. hospitals will treat you. you can $20 a month if you have too. hospitals will write-off your bill if you qualify

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    you don't. hospitals will treat you. you can $20 a month if you have too. hospitals will write-off your bill if you qualify
    So says LW the Liberal.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    you don't. hospitals will treat you. you can $20 a month if you have too. hospitals will write-off your bill if you qualify
    This is one of those hospital specific and state specific things. Some hospitals will treat you in the Emergency department whether you are insured or not. But then send you a bill and if you don't pay it they just send it off to a collection agency. Others write it off. But if you just go to an OP clinic for one of the hurts that hikers get most, likely they'll want payment up front. If you go to an ED and you are a veteran the VA might pay if you are not near a VA. But this is only for what they consider emergencies. Not treating shin splints or whatever. Fixing hiker type hurts on the trail will cost. Just a small thing like a sprain that you want treated is still going to cost a few hundred dollars with, radiology, doctor, and pain killers etc. My feeling is that the small hiker type hurts wont require as much money as paying insurance premiums for six months. In some states you can't buy high deductable cheap insurance anyway. So if you don't think you need insurance off the trail you don't need it on the trail. Sorry to be so long winded but I worked in Hospital Administration for thirty years and know something about this ugly stuff. I retired so I wouldn't have to think about it anymore.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

  20. #20
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    I just did a search on Insurance and there are ALOT of old threads but no clear answers, which is not surprising because its a complicated subject. I think if you have alot of money you should probably hire a lawyer and get some sort of insurance, and if you don't have alot of money you probably are better off not, and if you are somewhere in between then maybe some sort of cheap plan, even though you will probably end up screwed anyway, i.e. pay only to find out you aren't covered for some reason or another. Nuts.

    Life's enough of a crap shoot as it is, but ***?

    Good news is you are probably safer on the trail, as you won't be driving.

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