Day 404 – Working on insurance


Yesterday was the first day I fell on my bicycle during the entire trip. I was riding after the Star Party at McDonald Observatory in the dark and shifted down to my lowest gearing in preparation for a climb and my chain fell off the front chain ring, but I didn’t realize it.

The lowest gearing doesn’t begin to engage until I am going under 4 mph. Thinking I was going faster than that I pedaled faster and faster waiting for it to engage, but ran out of momentum before getting my feet out of the clips and fell over.

It was more embarrassing than anything so I had a good laugh and the lone rabbit watching me was probably wondering why anyone would be riding at 1 AM in the morning.

Today I am in Van Horn, TX catching up on the blog and resting from many miles and hills.

Big thing on my mind is insurance. I’ve been told a number of times by my health coach in NYC that I needed to get new insurance since I was no longer there. I was hesitant to change it because insurance is location based and I wasn’t sure where I was going to live. So I kept paying my premium and ignoring her advice.

Today I finally called up to confirm coverage and round out they would pay to have me admitted to an ER, but nothing else. Yikes!

So that is what my health coach was talking about.

Short story – I bought cyclist insurance from a company called Velosurance that would cover up to 12K in medical, 3K in bicycle and 25K if hit my an uninsured motorist in addition to 3 calls for roadside assistance delivering me and my bicycle up to 25 miles. All this for $325 per year. Of course it doesn’t cover any routine medical and only if I am injured on a bicycle, but it is perfect for my current situation.

Longer story – I currently have insurance through the Freelancers Union in NYC. My ACA Silver plan allows me to use the Freelancer’s clinic for standard medical care on an unlimited basis and the BlueCross BlueShield network within New York.

So I have been paying $500 per month since January of this year for insurance that basically did nothing for me and it’s my own damn fault.

It turns out that Freelancers Insurance Company (FIC) stopped offering insurance on it’s own in 2014 and there plan also included access to the BlueCross BlueShield PPO network nationwide. There was paperwork to this affect, but I didn’t read it closely enough and didn’t realize that the new 2015 plans didn’t come from FIC directly. Instead they now administer an HMO plan by Empire BlueCross BlueShield, even though they still had their own clinic and it would only provide coverage inside of New York.

In addition, it was impossible in 2015 to get an individual insurance plan that had access to a PPO network because no insurance companies were offering them. Apparently this is because the ACA mandates made PPO networks unaffordable in the New York State insurance market place.

So for someone that travels around the country a standard New York State base health insurance was not going to be of any use to me.

I have cancelled my Freelancers Insurance effective June 30th and will be getting insurance in Washington State my new place of residency. They do provide BlueCross BlueShield PPO plans at about $100 less per month for the same coverage I had in New York State.

The reason I am taking the time to write about all this is because I am a smart person, but inattention to details and the wrong paradigm in mind about how my insurance worked caused me to be without coverage even while  I was paying for it.

I am still a fan of the ACA even though it directly affected my insurance coverage. Even though it is a work in progress, it is a step in the right direction because it is both covering more people and reducing the overall cost of insurance. There is still a lot of work to be done and if Republicans would stop fighting and start working to improve it we would be much better off as a country.

Of course Republicans could also come up with a better comprehensive plan themselves, but so far the have only managed fear mongering, 50+ repeal votes in the House and 2 Supreme Court cases to kill it, the first failed and the second seems without merit.

Bottom line – review your insurance and see if it is actually doing what you think it should be doing and if not do the research to get the coverage that protects you in the way you want for the price you can afford.






One response to “Day 404 – Working on insurance”

  1. Penny Avatar

    Glad you got your insurance issues resolved. Your comments on ACA reflect the very thoughts I have regarding the issue. If the single minded efforts to do away with the program were used instead to improve upon it, the system could be made better. Doing away with universal health care is not the answer.