Accident Insurance that covers climbers?


Original Post
Michael Holland · · Teton Village, WY · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 5

Hey all,

In a week or so I'm leaving on a domestic 10-12 month climbing trip across the western US (Indian Creek, Zion, Red Rocks, Needles, High Sierra, Yosemite, Smith Rock, Squamish, etc.) and I'm looking for health coverage that will cover any dire accidents, like if I break a leg or whatever. Most normal insurance plans seem to only cover you in network--which usually means that you are only covered in the state you have insurance in...

Are there travel insurance options that cover risky pursuits? Accident-only plans with low deductibles?

Any ideas welcome...

MIke

DesertRat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 198

With my BCBS plan, I have in network coverage with any doctor who take BCBS, regardless of state.

You might look into travel insurance, I'm not sure how it would work domestically, but I know it can cover med costs internationally.

American Alpine Club, Divers Alert Network (DAN) and GEOS all offer really good plans covering rescue and travel related costs as well.

Mitch Musci · · Estes Park, CO · Joined Apr 2002 · Points: 890

I'm pretty sure most insurance companies don't differentiate between in network/out of network claims for true emergency care. Like if you break a leg and rush to the nearest hospital, standard coverage applies. You would certainly want to verify this based on the coverage you choose but it has been the case for all of my coverage so far (Kaiser, Aetna, Blue Cross, etc.)

webdog · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 0

if you plan on signing up for obama care then today is the last day to do so

Hmann2 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 30

check out Lloyds of London

susan peplow · · Joshua Tree · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 2,650

Consider joining the American Alpine Club. Good cause, the club gives back to the community in a variety of ways including live your dream type scholarships PLUS your membership provides you with $5K International and $5K domestic accident insurance should you require rescue.

Seems you're also eligible to purchase additional insurance at a discounted rate. Something to check out anyways......... no sooner did I type this and noticed that DesertRat suggested the same.......

http://americanalpineclub.org/p/global-rescue-rescue-insurance

from the AAC site:

DOMESTIC RESCUE BENEFIT*

Domestic Rescue Benefit* reimburses up to $5,000 of out-of-pocket rescue costs incurred by members. Should a member require rescue by, for example, local Search and Rescue teams, the AAC will reimburse that member for costs incurred.

• $5,000 Coverage
• U.S. Only. Canada and Mexico excluded
• Step past the trailhead and you're covered
• Get rescued, file a claim within 30 days of evacuation, get a check
• Can be used in addition to the Trailhead Rescue service

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
Mitch Musci wrote:I'm pretty sure most insurance companies don't differentiate between in network/out of network claims for true emergency care.
Many do/ did, although the ACA makes that illegal now. I am not sure if the provision on ER care has taken effect yet or not. I believe it has, although I am not 100%.
20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,352
susan peplow wrote:Consider joining the American Alpine Club. Good cause, the club gives back to the community in a variety of ways including live your dream type scholarships PLUS your membership provides you with $5K International and $5K domestic accident insurance should you require rescue. Seems you're also eligible to purchase additional insurance at a discounted rate. Something to check out anyways......... no sooner did I type this and noticed that DesertRat suggested the same....... americanalpineclub.org/p/gl… from the AAC site: DOMESTIC RESCUE BENEFIT* Domestic Rescue Benefit* reimburses up to $5,000 of out-of-pocket rescue costs incurred by members. Should a member require rescue by, for example, local Search and Rescue teams, the AAC will reimburse that member for costs incurred. • $5,000 Coverage • U.S. Only. Canada and Mexico excluded • Step past the trailhead and you're covered • Get rescued, file a claim within 30 days of evacuation, get a check • Can be used in addition to the Trailhead Rescue service
While a good program, it is worth nothing that is NOT health insurance, and $5k is pocket change for a legit rescue. A legit rescue with a critical injury could easily cost $500,000 and beyond for the rescue, medical care, PT and everything else.
Mike Lane · · Centennial, CO · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 905
Rodney P · · Ouray,CO · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 335
fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 12,951

Travel Guard does have a domestic trip coverage with add-on coverage for "adventure sports" ($9 extra for a month in the scenario I ran), but the medical coverage is supplemental to your primary insurance and is pretty low in comparison to US medical costs. It is a better option for overseas.

If you have a Spot, they offer up to $100K ($50K per incident) worldwide SAR coverage through Llyods of London for $18 a year.

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 234

Any insurance plan that's ACA-compliant will provide out-of-network emergency care, won't exclude climbing-related accidents, and won't have a cap on lifetime benefits. This would be true of employer-sponsored plans and individual plans, whether bought on an exchange or through a broker.

Where you might have an issue is if you're covered through a cheap-and-nasty low-cost plan that pre-dates Obamacare but that's temporarily been grandfathered in. These plans have all sorts of limits and exclusions but in some states people have been allowed to keep them because the premiums are cheaper than plans that provide real coverage.

You don't need rescue insurance (as opposed to medical insurance) for travel within the US. Rescue costs are almost invariably borne by the local SAR.

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,640

In Colorado you can get a $3 rescue card that covers S&R. (only in state) still pretty cheap,

AAA also offers accident coverage , I would have to look at the specifics

SavageMarmot · · Nederland, CO · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 190

It's called a rope.

You can get one for about $120.

Ryan Watts · · Bishop, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 25

I'm not aware of anywhere in the US where you will be charged for a rescue, so AAC insurance won't help you there.

As far as health insurance goes, most legit plans cover emergency care out of state. Double check for sure but that's pretty standard.

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 234
john strand wrote:In Colorado you can get a $3 rescue card that covers S&R. (only in state) still pretty cheap
A CORSAR card isn't insurance. It's a voluntary contribution to a state-run SAR fund. It won't cover any of your expenses.
coloradotomontana Erley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 75

99% OF SEARCH AND RESCUE IS FREE, PEOPLE! When EMS takes over, then it is on you. Again, volunteer SAR is FREE!
The CORSAR card helps reimburse the team after your rescue for expenses that they would have (happily) otherwise covered. It is not insurance, but again, even if you are a flaming moron, SAR is free.

fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 12,951
Ryan Watts wrote:I'm not aware of anywhere in the US where you will be charged for a rescue...
By law New Hampshire is allowed to charge for rescues due to negligence and has. Similar legislation has come up in other states. Last I checked there was a bill for a Hike Safe card that was being voted on in the NH Senate. The fee-based card will prevent any SAR charges.

Also note that you'll still incur an ambulance charge regardless of free SAR.
Gokul · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2011 · Points: 1,536
Ryan Watts wrote:I'm not aware of anywhere in the US where you will be charged for a rescue, so AAC insurance won't help you there.
Last I heard, NH will charge you for SAR if they deem your accident easily avoidable (e.g., you ignored avy warnings at the trailhead). Not sure if any other states do something like that.
Roots · · Tustin, CA · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 20

I've always heard that if you call for a Heli you get billed. If you call for help and they decide you need a Heli it is free...

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 234
fossana wrote:Also note that you'll still incur an ambulance charge regardless of free SAR.
If it's an emergency and an ambulance is medically necessary then the charges would typically be covered by health insurance. You shouldn't need separate rescue insurance for that.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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