Summit Daily letters: Noninsured skiers and snowboarders beware
Noninsured skiers and snowboarders beware
Should you be allowed to be on the slopes if you do not have insurance? Do you understand the potential financial implications of a ski accident?
March 30, I got hit from behind, broke my leg requiring surgery and the local medical bills currently are $67,000.
I am not including the future costs for rehab. Fortunately there is no loss of income since I am retired and I have insurance.
Nobody plans on having an accident or colliding with another person on the slope.
But what if it happens to you or what if you caused the accident?
Are you prepared to shell out this amount of money if you do not have insurance?
Are you prepared to be sued for medical expense reimbursement? Oh and now you might have legal fees too.
It’s illegal to drive your car without insurance, so why should you be allowed to put yourself and others at risk on the mountain without insurance?
What if you were required to validate insurance prior to being allowed on the slopes via your ski pass?
If you don’t have insurance can a program be created that charges $10 per ticket or $50 per season pass which is collected for uninsured ski accidents? If you think this is too much, remember my broken leg cost $67,000.
Could more aggressive mountain patrolling with authority to revoke mountain access privileges for 24 months for reckless skiing/boarding make the mountain safer?
Bottom line … you have the right to make decisions that can destroy your life but for those who ski and/or board without insurance why would you feel you have the right to potentially destroy another person’s life?
Health care solutions in the works across Colorado
Our western counties have long had the dubious distinction of having some of the highest health insurance premiums in the country. Too many of our neighbors and friends who need access to quality health coverage are going without or are struggling to afford it. When I talked with voters as a candidate for the Colorado Senate, the cost of health care was one of the top issues I heard about. We’ve had neighbors who have had to move to the Front Range to afford health insurance. That’s part of the reason I joined a new coalition called the Western and Rural Colorado Health Care Coalition, to advocate for policies that will help alleviate the health care challenges our communities are facing.
Our state Legislature is considering creating a reinsurance program for the private insurance market through House Bill 1168. Reinsurance helps insurers cover the highest cost claims so that those costs do not drive up premiums for everyone else. This system is being used in a number of other states, like Alaska, where it has led to reductions in premiums for two consecutive years and brought more stability to private insurance. People in Minnesota and Oregon have also seen improved affordability for their premiums through reinsurance, and some other states are moving to implement similar programs.
Analysis by the Division of Insurance shows reinsurance could lower premiums by 20 percent on average, likely more in the highest cost areas like ours. The bipartisan effort is to be commended. There will need to be additional work to control health care costs, and to improve competition among insurers possibly including a public option. However HB 1168 is crucial in providing fairly immediate relief to western counties. It will help more of our friends and neighbors access health care, and remain in our communities.
Member of the Western and
Rural Colorado Health Care Coalition
Keep our kids safe
Kids on bikes are everywhere in our mountain towns. It is tragic to hear of a young child being hit and killed while biking. As a community, we must do everything we can to prevent this from ever happening again. Our hearts go out to the family who has lost their child. Drivers, please slow down in our neighborhoods and look carefully for kids on bikes coming out from unexpected places. Parents, please teach your children that drivers do not always see kids on bikes. Teach your children to be on the look out for vehicles coming from all directions, including backing up. Please spread the word and let’s prevent this from ever happening again in our community.
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