Freedom Friday focuses on health care bias against motorcyclists
April 05, 2013
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- As part of
AMA Go Ride! Month, the American Motorcyclist Association has designated each
Friday in April as a "Freedom Friday" to raise awareness about issues
that threaten motorcycling freedoms. AMA members can take part in a photo contest
related to the issue and win prizes.
Kicking off on Friday, April 5, will be a weeklong focus on health-insurance
discrimination. The issue is one of the most important to AMA members,
according to Danielle Fowles, AMA grassroots coordinator.
"With the current U.S. economic situation, we are hearing of more
employers refusing to pay for health care for injuries suffered in a motorcycle
crash," said Fowles. "Imagine getting seriously hurt in a motorcycle
accident and then having your health insurance company refuse to pay the
medical bills because you were riding a motorcycle.
"The AMA has been fighting this type of health-insurance discrimination
for years and is now on Capitol Hill lobbying to change the law so that this
form of discrimination no longer exists," Fowles said.
Each week's Freedom Friday photo contest asks AMA members to send a photo of
themselves and their bike near a symbol of that week's topic. For the first
week, members should send in photos near hospitals, ambulances or anything
medical-insurance related to illustrate their concern as a motorcyclist.
Photo(s) and the AMA member number should be sent to the AMA at firstname.lastname@example.org
to be entered in the contest.
Contest entrants have two chances to win. Each week, two photo winners will be
announced and each will receive an AMA gift bag and a $20 BikeBandit.com gift
card. Contest entrants will also be entered in a month-end drawing with great
prizes, including a Shoei helmet, Tour Master Intake jacket, and Cortech tank
bags, courtesy of AMA partner Helmet House.
Complete contest rules are posted on the AMA website at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/riding/goride.
In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
Act (HIPAA). Among other things, with that law federal lawmakers wanted to
prohibit employers from denying health-care coverage based on a worker
participating in legal activities such as motorcycle riding. But when federal
bureaucrats wrote rules to implement the law, they reversed the intent of
Congress, allowing health-insurance benefit discrimination against
motorcyclists and others.
"The AMA advises all motorcyclists to check their medical insurance policy
for 'Exclusions,'" Fowles said. "That's where the insurance company
spells out what it won't cover. If the wording is ambiguous, a motorcyclist
should ask his or her human resources or personnel department whether injuries
sustained in motorcycle crashes are covered under the company's health
AMA Go Ride! Month encourages AMA members and riders nationwide to renew their
passion for riding in the dirt and on the street. It's a month-long celebration
of riding that features stories, photos, contests and more. For more
information about AMA Go Ride! Month and Freedom Friday, go to www.americanmotorcyclist.com/riding/goride.