Friday, April 4, 2014

Will Obamacare give club racing and track days a little shot in the arm?

I was one of the people who, at the last minute last week, signed up for Obamacare. That means that I have health insurance for the first time since about 2007. Since I’m a self-employed writer and my wife is a dancer (neither of which are particularly high-paying jobs) our insurance, such as it is, isn’t costing us much. 

Prior to Obamacare, there were no meaningful coverage options that made any financial sense for us. What I’m saying is, although I’ve obviously not had to use my health coverage yet, on the face of it I’d say Obamacare works for me.

For a day or so, I had a tiny little warm glow thinking, Huh, maybe I don’t have to live in complete fear of being bankrupted by a health problem that would only be an inconvenience in a socialist country like, say, Norway or Great Britain. (For the record, given the sizable deductibles on any of the plans I can afford, I’d almost be bankrupted, but whatever.)

Then it hit me: Hey, I could do a track day; I could go racing; I could actually have fun.

One thing that’s held me back, when it comes to doing any real quality riding lately is, club racing organizations and track day operators typically insist on medical coverage.

Obviously, participating in events like club racing or track days is a selective filter for people who have thousands of dollars to blow on a hobby. And I suppose the vast majority of people who can afford the motorcycle they need for such a purpose, not to mention the truck or trailer, leathers, etc., already have health insurance. Most of the fifty million Americans without any health coverage (prior to Obamacare) probably have other priorities. And anyway, so far, on 7.1 million of them have signed up.

Still, amongst those millions, I bet there are few others, besides me, who are now looking for an affordable way to treat a serious illness not covered by Obamacare: the racing bug.

1 comment:

  1. Mark,

    The May 2014 issue of American Motorcyclist Magazine has an article on insurance discrimination. Apparently healthcare plans can still exclude coverage for injuries sustained during "risky activities", including the lawful use of your motorcycle.

    The AMA's advice is to read your policy, ask your insurance company to explain in-writing what activities are not covered (if the language is ambiguous), and then let the American Motorcyclist Association know if your healthcare plan is discriminating based on what you are doing when you get injured.

    Thank you,
    Paul Danger Kile