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  1. #1
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    Default Health insurance.

    I'm sure this has been discussed before but it's a new year and there are always new things. My wife and I are planning a through hike next year and we are wondering what our options are for health insurance. What have you done? What are you planning on doing?


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  2. #2
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    My company has an accidental addition I can add in case I fall and hurt myself. The rep said, "A broken bone is worth about $4k in cash!" All for about $4 a paycheck. Giving my proclivity to hiking and mountain biking I'm considering it.

  3. #3
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    What kind of health insurance makes you pay extra for accidents??????????
    I'm glad that I worked for people who took care of their employees.
    OP:
    COBRA? ObamaCare? Medicare?????

    Wayne
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    What kind of health insurance makes you pay extra for accidents??????????
    I'm glad that I worked for people who took care of their employees.
    OP:
    COBRA? ObamaCare? Medicare?????

    Wayne
    No, sorry this is more supplemental. It would give you some immediate cash as opposed to just covering your medical.

  5. #5
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Oh. Like short term disability. Got it.
    Wayne


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  6. #6
    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
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    Off to the exchanges and pray you find something somewhat laughably "affordable". You could check the private insurance market as well. With the Obama care law, you have to have insurance or your penalized. So for a thru-hiker who isn't actively working, it's an added economic burden. Before, you could purchase lower cost catastrophic insurance to cover you but the Obamacare law terminated them.

  7. #7

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    Yep, not to be snarky, but your option for healthcare ( required by law) has nothing to do with hiking.

    Majority of thruhikers are on mommy and daddys insurance still, so not a big issue for them to be unemployed. People less than retirement/medicare age that want to quit job to hike .....have to be able to cover their healthcare expenses, and other things.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 10-03-2016 at 06:38.

  8. #8
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    I just retired last month and had some tough choices to make regarding insurance. I could have kept what was a pretty good policy from my employer, but I would have had to foot the entire $1,690 a month to cover both of us. I shopped around and found a better policy (max out of pocket $2,000 ea. annually) for $1,300 a month. That still hurt like hell, but what are you going to do...Insurance premiums suck until you need it, then they're a bargain.

    I can tell you this, be very careful when shopping for a policy! There are companies out there preying on unsuspecting customers with policies that promise great coverage for less than 1/2 what you would pay elsewhere. Then you find out they don't cover major medical (heart attack, etc..) and you could end up screwed. A classic case of "If it sounds too good to be true..."
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  9. #9
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    I just retired last month and had some tough choices to make regarding insurance. I could have kept what was a pretty good policy from my employer, but I would have had to foot the entire $1,690 a month to cover both of us. I shopped around and found a better policy (max out of pocket $2,000 ea. annually) for $1,300 a month. That still hurt like hell, but what are you going to do...Insurance premiums suck until you need it, then they're a bargain.

    I can tell you this, be very careful when shopping for a policy! There are companies out there preying on unsuspecting customers with policies that promise great coverage for less than 1/2 what you would pay elsewhere. Then you find out they don't cover major medical (heart attack, etc..) and you could end up screwed. A classic case of "If it sounds too good to be true..."
    You know, if you are in good health, you are better off saving that $1300 a month and paying the penalty, at least for a few years. Obamacare was a bill of goods sold fraudulently to the American people.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by theotherbrady View Post
    I'm sure this has been discussed before but it's a new year and there are always new things. My wife and I are planning a through hike next year and we are wondering what our options are for health insurance. What have you done? What are you planning on doing?

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    Politics and questionable opinions of insurance aside, if you are currently insured through an employer and are taking a leave of absence, or will be quitting, you can continue your insurance policy via COBRA. This allows those leaving a company to access the health insurance policy the corporation provides, though you will pay the rate the company pays/paid for the insurance, usually doubling the cost. For example, if you have a policy now that costs you about $300 a month plus deductibles, you will probably be able to get it via COBRA for about $600 per month plus deductibles.

    I would not advise one take on a trip like this without health insurance, its a long walk with a lot of hazards to ones health along the way that can cripple you financially if not prepared.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by theotherbrady View Post
    I'm sure this has been discussed before but it's a new year and there are always new things. My wife and I are planning a through hike next year and we are wondering what our options are for health insurance. What have you done? What are you planning on doing?


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    My wife and I have used Allianz travel insurance in the past in 2015 they paid out over $5000.00 in claims for a trip to the ER and a one night stay in the hospital. They paid for the ambulance ride down to the last pill. Now with that said remember they do it through refunding you. They paid so fast that I never used any of our money. I think we paid like $48.00 for 7 months worth of coverage to cover the entire hike. It is all about how you fill in box's for a quote. Since we were hiking we only applied for medical and evacuation insurance which was what we were concerned about.
    One stipulations is we had to be more than 100 miles away from home when we started and we had that covered.
    Here is a link to them.
    http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-7270627...-1455930935000

    Now if you want health insurance others have given great advice from cobra to other types of policies. As a vet I have the VA so it came down to my wife we did all of her yearly exams before leaving and while she was still covered with her plan. The doctor new what we were doing and prescribed different meds for the hike from doxycycline to some medicine for upset stomach that you put under your tongue, sorry do not remember the name but I can tell you it was great to have and cost $72.00 without insurance.

    Best of luck on your hike.

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by turtle fast View Post
    Off to the exchanges and pray you find something somewhat laughably "affordable". You could check the private insurance market as well. With the Obama care law, you have to have insurance or your penalized. So for a thru-hiker who isn't actively working, it's an added economic burden. Before, you could purchase lower cost catastrophic insurance to cover you but the Obamacare law terminated them.
    If you aren't working you don't pay a penalty as the cost of insurance is capped based on income. We haven't had health insurance since they ACA went into effect. Can no longer afford the employer coverage! And have never paid a penalty. Google it: exceptions to health care penalty or some such. Use the IRS website. It explains all the exemptions.


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    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  13. #13
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    You know, if you are in good health, you are better off saving that $1300 a month and paying the penalty, at least for a few years. Obamacare was a bill of goods sold fraudulently to the American people.
    As a former career Paramedic/Firefighter, you'll find no one more likely to agree with you about the current mess we call our national health care system. But, unfortunately, a couple of issues with cancer in the past 5 years have left me withy no choice but to maintain quality health care coverage. I went with a private policy through the same provider I had with my former employer. I trusted they would reliably cover any issues, which they have over the past few years to the tune of about $120,000.
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  14. #14

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    As an Unemployed migrant, or otherwise indigent, I thought no hospital anywhere could refuse to treat someone. Granted that's for life threatening emergencies. For things like a sore throut, colds, infected blisters, there should be free clinical care facilities some what nearby...you may have to hitch to get to one of course.
    Am I incorrect in my assumptions?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    You know, if you are in good health, you are better off saving that $1300 a month and paying the penalty, at least for a few years. Obamacare was a bill of goods sold fraudulently to the American people.
    Depends.

    If you are well into your career with a paid-off home and some non-IRA money you plan on using to buy groceries with when you are 70, lack of health insurance can be a risk.

  16. #16

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    If you do get insurance via the ACA exchange, make sure that it has an open network of providers (like BC-BS). Most of the cheaper options have a very limited network that may not work if you go to a doctor while you're hiking and far from your homebase. They will pay for emergency care - or at least a portion of it - but not follow-up if you are not in your home area.

    When I was thruhiking, I didn't bother with insurance. I only needed to see a doctor once in 5 thuhikes. Now that I'm older, I have insurance in case of something catastrophic like cancer, but it is pretty useless for lesser medical issues because of the $5000 deductible.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    You know, if you are in good health, you are better off saving that $1300 a month and paying the penalty, at least for a few years. Obamacare was a bill of goods sold fraudulently to the American people.
    Or save a good chunk of that by going for one of the higher deductible policies out there.
    That way you still save quite a bit on the insurance cost (which you can then have should you need it) and while you wind up paying most or all the cost if you need to go to a doctor for something simple you are at least covered should something happen that requires more costly care like a hospital visit or surgery (one of those things that turns into a 6 figure bill otherwise).

  18. #18
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    Putting aside politics, it is not uncommon for thru hikers, especially younger ones, to get ACA policies that are sometimes almost fully subsidized. Since thru hikers aren't working half of the year, subsidies are likely especially for those who don't have high paying jobs the rest of the year.

    This is just a statement of fact. Whether it should be this way is beside the point

  19. #19
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuknees View Post
    As an Unemployed migrant, or otherwise indigent, I thought no hospital anywhere could refuse to treat someone. Granted that's for life threatening emergencies. For things like a sore throut, colds, infected blisters, there should be free clinical care facilities some what nearby...you may have to hitch to get to one of course.
    Am I incorrect in my assumptions?
    Yes, you are incorrect, there is no free medical care. Someone has to pay for it...
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine View Post
    Yes, you are incorrect, there is no free medical care. Someone has to pay for it...
    +1. Same as lunch....

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