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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got this from ABATE and AMA. Now everyone jump on it and get these overpaid jokers to get something right this year.

AMA Acts To End Health-Care Bias Against Riders



PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Following intense efforts by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), legislation has been introduced in Congress to end health-care discrimination against motorcyclists.

In the '90s, Congress passed a law meant to bar employers from refusing to cover motorcycle-related injuries in the health-care coverage they offer employees. But federal bureaucrats reversed that law, writing rules to allow health-insurance discrimination against motorcyclists and others who engage in legal activities like skiing, snowmobiling, ATV riding or horseback riding. This new legislation would correct that action.

The bill, introduced by U.S. Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) on February 14, would "promote health-care coverage parity for individuals participating in legal recreational activities or legal transportation activities."

Specifically, the bill states that "a plan or issuer may not deny benefits otherwise provided for the treatment of any injury solely because such injury resulted from participation of the participant or beneficiary in an activity such as motorcycling, snowmobiling, all-terrain vehicle riding, horseback riding, skiing or other similar legal activity."

Those words came out of meetings between aides for the senators and the AMA's team in Washington, D.C., that also included officials of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. The bill also has the endorsement of the All-Terrain Vehicle Association, the American Horse Council and the American Snowmobilers Association, among others.

Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations, said the threat of losing health-care benefits is enormous.

"Medical bills from an accident can easily total tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars," he said. "Without insurance, that can amount to a devastating blow to any rider."

Riders and others who want to end this type of insurance discrimination are urged to send letters to their federal lawmakers asking them to support the Feingold-Collins bill. An easy way to send your message is to use the AMA Rapid Response Center at www.AMADirectlink.com.

"We succeeded in this effort years ago, only to see our efforts reversed by federal agencies," Moreland said. "Now, we have a second chance to protect all motorcyclists from health-insurance discrimination. We need to take advantage of this opportunity."
 

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FHLT, I was unaware of the problem. My insurance company, and all the plans offered by my Firm, do not discriminate against motorcycle riders in any way. I've never heard of this issue. Is it limited to certain geographical areas, or certain companies? Hard to write a letter without specifics on the problem.

thx, greg
 

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I know in my area that State Farm Insurance does not cover medical in the case of accident. They only cover the bike. Luckily my own health insurance covers it..
 

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Road Captain
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Make your voice heard.......

http://harleydavidsonforum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=98210#post98210

BigDogR said:
Contacting your Reps all at once is easy and takes minutes. Go to http://www.congressmerge.com/

Cut the section from the first post (Re: support of the Act) and paste it into the Template letter they have for you that gets emailed to all those you choose from a check box format. Done!
Too easy not to do! I let these clowns know where I stand on a regular basis on a variety of issues. I like to think it matters (?).
It at the very least lets them know you're watching them screw things up.
 

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" I know in my area that State Farm Insurance does not cover medical in the case of accident. They only cover the bike."

Not sure if i understand, but it seemed like you were saying your property insurance (on yout bike) does not cover medical. I don't think this is what FHLT is referring to. Again, I am happy to write my congressman, but would need some specifics. I work with insurance and health care companies (tax advisor), but am not aware of the specfic issue. Who? Where?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Its your health insurance at work, or any other health insurance that you have. That I'm talking about. I don't have a list of the companies anymore. I had one the last time this came up, but don't know where it is now.
I remember it was brought up at a ABATE meeting and there were three at the meeting that said their insurance didn't cover them. And that was three out of maybe 20 or so at the meeting.
That is in the midwest, but I rember a lot in the east that were doing it too, thats how AMA got into it.
 

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It is not really a geographical issue. It may be more common in some areas. The problem is a national one. Disregard the fact that your insurance company may not do it. The fact is, the loophole is there and they could do it tomorrow if they choose.
Be proactive! Use http://www.congressmerge.com/

Don't wait 'till it effects you. It might be too late!
 

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Ridin' & Glidin'
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Where this all began ---->

From AMA Website Archives:



Government Update
Ruger reconsiders: Gun company reverses discriminatory policy
by Chris Kallfelz



In 1994, Ruger, a Connecticut-based firearms manufacturer, announced that its employee health-insurance program would no longer cover injuries from motorcycle accidents unless the rider was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Ruger placed no similar restrictions on its car-driving employees who chose not to wear seat belts. In fact, even those who engaged in illegal behavior, like drink - ing and driving, were extended full coverage. But riding without a helmet, a practice that's legal in the states where Ruger maintains offices, would get you thrown out of the company's insurance program.

In 1995, the AMA instituted a program called "Riding Ruger," intended to persuade the company to re-evaluate this insurance restriction. The cornerstone of Riding Ruger was a call for interested motorcyclists to purchase shares of Ruger stock, then attend the annual shareholders meeting to challenge the company's discriminatory policy.

Simultaneously, many motorcyclists and even entire police departments pledged not to purchase Ruger firearms until motorcyclists were treated like other employees.

In the meantime, the AMA was pursuing this issue on other fronts, successfully reversing a similar insurance restriction on Teamsters Union members in Chicago, helping to block such proposals in other parts of the country, and promoting federal legislation to ban insurance discrimination by employers. That legislation, passed in 1996, is expected to go into effect with the release of final regulations late this year.

Through the Riding Ruger campaign, AMA representatives have attended the past four company shareholder meetings. But at this year's meeting, there was an interesting exchange followed by some surprising news.

AMA member and Ruger stockholder Forrest Anderson raised the issue at the annual meeting, questioning why Ruger executives were continuing to discriminate against motorcyclists. But Bill Ruger Jr., the CEO of the company and a motorcycle enthusiast himself, refused to acknowledge Anderson's remarks.

Despite that lack of response, Anderson felt he'd been successful in making his point.

"I had at least two stockholders, one of whom was a motorcyclist, come up to me afterward to ask questions," notes Anderson, "They seemed quite concerned. I gave them a brief synopsis of the insurance issue and efforts by the AMA to have Ruger lift this restriction.

"On my way out," he adds, "I overheard at least two groups of people talking about this 'new revelation.' One was wondering how many employees ride and the effect this had on them.

"I was somewhat frustrated about having my question snubbed during the meeting. However, with the comments I overheard and the people asking me questions, I felt that the AMA had made its presence known."

Subsequently, we got better news. Shortly after the meeting, we received a copy of an internal company memo, apparently written a couple of weeks before the shareholders gathering, saying that the policy of discriminating against motorcyclists (and employees who engage in several other legal activities during their off-hours) had been rescinded.

So, although Ruger doesn't want to discuss it, four years of discrimination have ended for the company's motorcycling employees. And with other victories in the Teamsters Union and the U.S. Congress, it appears that the trend toward cutting insurance coverage for motorcyclists may be cooling down.

"We are very pleased that Ruger has decided to extend health-care benefits to all its employees who ride," says Robert Rasor, vice president of AMA government relations, "and we want to thank everyone who took part in this effort.

"It took a lot of patience and hard work on the part of everybody who, like Forrest Anderson, participated in Riding Ruger. But that patience has paid off."



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Copyright American Motorcyclist Association, 1998.
 

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Ridin' & Glidin'
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One other thing that everyone needs to do is to check the exculsions in your Accidental Life Insurance Policys.

There are quite a few companies that will not pay a settlement if your death is the result of an accident while riding a motorcycle. :mad:
 

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I know i will flamed for this, but if i understand it, some insurance companies are excluding high risk persons (snow boarding, ski diving, flying, motorcycling, etal) from what they want to cover. Assuming these are private, for profit companies, why should we ask big government to make them? Its seems to me the issue should be to insure they make it clear to their insureds what they are not covering. Then, WE can make up our own minds to get additional and/or different insurance coverage.

I personally am very against using the governmat to force private industry to sell products/services they don't want to sell. I know there are exceptions but why is this one? I'm free to engage in risking activities if I so choose. Why isn't an insurance company just as free to decide thay would rather not join me in such risk?

That said, I certainly may have missed the issue, though i have posted a couple times trying to understand it.
 

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Road Captain
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gbenner, your points are valid if the 'exceptions' are known from the outset. I have refused to buy insurance from a couple companies that leave no doubt that they won't cover motorcycle related death/injuries. Interestingly enough, they had nothing to say about snowmobiles, go-carts or even drag racing. My understanding is that this applies to Medical Insurance, personal or employer purchased that have no fore-warning. Not until an accident has happened does the company refuse payment for treatment because the incident involved a 'so-called' risk intensive lifestyle or riding a motorcycle.
 

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Ridin' & Glidin'
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Well, when an employee does not have a choice and has to participate (weekly payroll deductions) with a company provided health care server, it would be logical that said employee should be able to find a policy that covers his or her choice of recreational activities.

The 100% healthcare package provided by employers is a myth.

My objection to this whole deal is that where is the line going to be drawn?
Will insurance providers decide that a persons diet places them at a risk.

If the provider excludes a particular risky lifestyle activity, then find another provider. That is what I am doing by getting a Term Life insurance policy with the AMA.
But if the group health care policy that my company has decides to exclude my riding a motorcycle as a un-necessary risk, I don't have much choice other than opting out of the benefits of a group plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Its called discrimination.
Its just like saying you have to be white, 25 to 35 and drive a blue minivan to be insured with them.
If there doing business in the USA they have no right to discriminate against anyone thats not doing anything not against the law.
 

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"But if the group health care policy that my company has decides to exclude my riding a motorcycle as a un-necessary risk, I don't have much choice other than opting out of the benefits of a group plan.'

"Its called discrimination".

I disagree. Group insurance is degotiated by employers. In trying to save costs they make accept a policy with limitations you do not like. One of them may be limitations on coverage for certain activities.

The solution is not to run to the government to somehow mandate to the insurance companies their coverage. Talk to yout employer. if that won't work, then get your own covverage.

If we force insurance companies to underwrite risks that their primary insured won't pay for (the employer) a logical backlash if for insurance companies to ask the government to at least make the motorcyclist take care of himself. Helmet laws, riding gear laws, who knows what else.
I am all for limiting government intervention, not increasing it.
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"Its just like saying you have to be white, 25 to 35 and drive a blue minivan to be insured with them"

No it isn't!. Its about paying for what you get. If employers and insureds are willing to pay, they will get coverage. Play...Pay. I suppose HD is discriminating because they charge so damm much for their bike? Since when do we pass laws telling private industry who to sell to , other than to stop discrimination as to race, color and creed?

I was thinking of joining ABATE/AMA after a recent thread on a New mexico law which they apparantly helped get repealed. However, if they are just a gadfly who complain about everything, and are lobbying for MORE government intervention and control over private enterprise, I think I'll pass.

In areas such as this, government intervention is very rarely the answer.

Be carefull what you ask for.
 

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gbenner said:
I was thinking of joining ABATE/AMA after a recent thread on a New mexico law which they apparantly helped get repealed. However, if they are just a gadfly who complain about everything, and are lobbying for MORE government intervention and control over private enterprise, I think I'll pass.
That is not a valid observation, they both do more to keep the goverment from passing more laws that restrict our freedoms than any other motorcyclist organizations. :cool:

In that article I posted there was no demands to create a special set of circumstances for motorcyclists, just a demand for fairness.
 

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It was no coincidence that specific loophole appeared in that law. It was most certainly lobbied for; by one of the biggest lobbying groups going, insurance companies.
Should we let a "big brother" fear keep us from letting our representatives know that we are aware of the fact that they put a price tag on our freedoms and we won't stand for it?

I hear ya' loud and clear, it could be a Pandora's box of over regulation. It has happend before without question.
Yet, on the other hand, if you do nothing, do you think they'll stop there and rest on their laurels? Hell no! They'll use it as a benchmark. You can bet your ass!
Given the choice of the slippery slope of over regulation or intervention to correct an unjust law. I think there is only one real choice that in the end protects us from both. Get involved in your government and stay involved. If everyone lived up to their responsibility of governmental oversight (aint no balance without the checks) you could watch a whole lot of our problems vanish. So many issues have their roots within our politicians and their desire to sell us out to lobby groups. Why do they sell us out? So they can try and buy our votes with BS campaign commercials on the next go around.. Crazy!

It is a sad commentary on us as a nation if we as a people are afraid to stand up for ourselves, and against our government, out of fear of future “legislative reprisals”. We could end up standing like sheep to the slaughter. There is no room for apathy in a democracy!

In this case, it is clearly calculated discrimination. They have selected activities that include relatively small demographics (easier to walk over). Yet, there is a big potential upside in segregating those small demographics from their roles. They never would have tried the same crap against other high risk clients such as elderly drivers, SUV owners, etc.. Granted, they did tag SUV owners with surcharges for driving them, but never said that they would deny and protection afforded by their policy. And the elderly...NOBODY screws with AARP…NOBODY! Why don’t they also refuse coverage to all the people who drive the small “econobox” deathtraps that never met a crash test they couldn’t fail? Go up against the UAW and Auto Makers??? No representative in his or her right mind would do that! Unless intense and consistent public outcry demanded it of course; as evidenced by the recent Ford/Firestone debacle.

I propose they instead write into their auto policies that should the driver of an automobile use the excuse of "I didn’t see 'em" after killing a cyclist; they are responsible for reimbursing their insurance company. Like that would happen! LOL
 

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I realize this is a pretty sensitive topic. i just think a private business ought to be able to decide what services they offer, for what price and to who. The Constitution bans discrimination for race, color and creed. Thats enough.

If an insurance company wants to charge a lot more for those people it considers high risk fools (us) thats their perogotive. Its my right to engage in such activities, my decision, i will accept the consequences. If that means higher priced insurance then I have a another decision to make.

The purchaser of a majority of all medical insurance is employers. They are the problem. If they went to the underwriters (insurance companies)and were willing to pay the freight, this would not be an issue. However, its much easier to single a relativelly small unpopular group of companies and pass legislation. Then, they will raise rates and employers will ultimately pay anyway. However, in my view, this is an inappropriate use of government. No different conceptually than helmet laws and other government BS. A politicians cure is always more laws.
 

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...if this was truly a matter of economics, I'd agree with the last post.

This is not about the cost, its about a loophole created by the government's own Department of Health and Human Service's making it possible for coverage to be denied, AFTER THE FACT.
 

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If an insurance company wants to charge a lot more for those people it considers high risk fools (us) thats their perogotive. Its my right to engage in such activities, my decision, i will accept the consequences.[/B]


Agreed! As much as I hate paying more for things, if they want to charge me a little more on my end, for my activities (riding) then well I could live with that. To a POINT! They do charge more on co-pay insurance plan for people who smoke (biggest risk goin') and I agree with it.

The problem here is they want to exclude us altogether, or make us choose between our job and its benefits or our passion. There was no option in the cases cited to pay the extra 5 bucks a month (or whatever) to have a high-risk insurance-rider on the policy.

I also think associating us (riders) with the other "high risk" people is wrong, even stupid.
Unlike snowboarders and skydivers, we are participating in a government-regulated hobby; from licensing, inspection, and driver testing to helmet laws. We (most) ride on machines that comply with federal safety standards in their design and manufacture.

They want to lump me into the same category as some "tool" that buys a snowboard, hops on and runs face first into a tree with a six-pack in him (no laws on drinking and boarding!)? Am I the same as some guy who takes two easy lessons and decides to jump out of a plane after packing his own chute for the first time? I think not.

The real difference is the people who get injured in the other activities usually are at fault themselves. Us, we tend to get hit and injured and killed by other Assh*les. So why not make us suffer the consequences right??
 

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gbenner-
We don't seem to agree on much huh?
Thats cool, afterall.......

Every man should periodically be compelled to listen to opinions which are infuriating to him. To hear nothing but what is pleasing to one is to make a pillow of the mind. - St. John Ervine

Ok lets try Beer - Import, domestic or both?
 
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