Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Horses and Health Insurance

No, not health insurance for horses, but rather for people.

I feel extremely lucky that there has never been a time in my life when my health insurance has really been in doubt. There have been short periods when I have not had insurance, but always when transitioning between jobs. It was more a question of getting the paperwork in order than scrambling to find something else.

That said, I'm sorta-kinda in that place right now. On January 1, I transitioned to my husband's insurance - which has opened up all these weird dependency anxieties like I am all of a sudden not my own person and a functioning, independent adult, THANKS A LOT BRAIN.

His 2016 insurance cards haven't arrived yet, and I'm off my own plans, so I am in a weird place where if I had to go to the emergency room and they said "what insurance do you have?" I'd have to say "ummmmmm..." The answer is out there, somewhere, but it would require calling around to find.

All that is by way of a possibly TMI and almost definitely boring intro to my main question.

If you have gone without health insurance in your life, has that impacted your horseback riding?

On those occasions when I have been sort of in-between coverage for two weeks, or once a full month, I did not ride. Maybe I was being overly cautious. I have a much, much higher degree of risk-aversion than the normal person, I know. But my feeling is that riding is a genuinely dangerous activity, and that I cannot predict with certainty that I won't be injured while doing so. If I were to take a bad fall and needed to go to the emergency room, it would cause real problems, especially if the paperwork hadn't cleared yet or whatever. Like I said, really risk-averse.

That said, I'm riding a lot right now, even though my insurance card is floating out there somewhere. Maybe I've become slightly less risk-averse. Maybe I'm feeling more confident that all is settled since technically my husband has last year's insurance info and it's more easily figured out than if we were on something totally new.

Either way, now that I've typed all this out I'm going to nag him again to call his insurance company and figure out what happened to those cards.

So - what about you? Have there been times when you've been between health insurance? Have you chosen not to ride, or ridden anyway? Has it ever caused you problems?


  1. i mean... i can't predict with certainty that i won't be injured while stepping down from a damn trailer (fml) so... idk. personally, i haven't had to decide whether to ride or not based on health coverage, but probably i'd keep riding anyway. regardless, i hope you get your paperwork settled soon!

  2. I have regular health insurance and then I have Aflac Accident insurance. The accident insurance will cover me if I am ever without actual health insurance. It covers all accidents, period. If I fall off my horse, break a leg falling down the stairs, slip on ice, etc. Also has a 40k life insurance policy for accidental death in case my horse decides to kill me :)

    I was without health insurance for 4 months. Still rode. My horse is so chill I never worry.

  3. Ask your husband to ask his HR person for a pdf of his/your insurance cards. I do HR and I provide these to new employees/employees who lost their cards. If he works for a large company, there may be an online portal he can log into to get this information. Either way, he can get that for you until your mailed ones arrive. And so long as you are in fact covered, your having or not having the card is immaterial. The ER would accept you and your husband could always phone his HR person to ask for the ID#s over the phone.

  4. I went without insurance from November 2013 (when I quit my job) until May 2015 (when I got married). I continued to ride normally, but I did have thoughts in the back of my mind about what would happen should I be seriously injured.

  5. Olivia hit my main points! Also, you may be able to go directly to the insurance company's website to get a user account for your husband and print a card from there.

    I am being more careful with how I consider injuries now that my closest definitely-covered urgent care is 30-45 minutes away rather than 10. I've never been without, though, so I can't speak to that.. but probably the same sort of thing. Still ride, but do more self-eval and waiting rather than going in proactively.

  6. Questions like this make me really happy to be Canadian. It's not something I've ever had to even consider...

    1. This was also the response I had drafted in my head. so i will say ditto! (dating an American and considering what that may mean long term has been especially difficult on the insurance front....)

    2. er, that was me ;)

  7. I've been lucky enough not to have ever been without insurance...I'm not sure what I'd do...probably ride normally but also worry/stress out about it!


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