Senate Bill Closes Insurance Loophole
December 3, 2004
Filed under Features
The United States Senate has passed a bill authored by Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) prohibiting health insurers from denying benefits to people injured while participating in legal transportation and recreational activities.
The legislation corrects the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act by closing a loophole that allows insurance companies to refuse to cover injuries suffered by a person while participating in legal activities such as snowmobiling, ATVing, motorcycling, skiing, or jogging.
Implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services, the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act stated that while employers are not able to refuse health care coverage to an employee on the basis of participation in transportation or recreational activities, the employee can be denied health care benefits for an injury that occurred while participating in these legal activities.
"If Americans want to enjoy legal transportation and recreational activities, the thought of being refused medical coverage shouldn't stop them," Feingold said. "That's why I have been fighting to pass this bill, giving people the protection they deserve while taking part in activities like motorcycling, ATVing and snowmobiling."
The measure, SB 423, now goes to the House for consideration.
AMA Government Relations Department urges all motorcyclists, ATVers and others to contact their U.S. representatives to support the bill. Simply visit ama-cycle.org/news/2004/S432.asp, enter your zip code, and a letter will automatically be generated to your congressman.