Monday, June 08, 2020

Clickbait or Fact: Riots and Your Health (and maybe life)

So here's a pretty relevant question:

Does your health insurance cover your expenses if you're injured in a riot?

And what, precisely, does "in" mean here?

As we learned from last week's post on homeowner's insurance, the definition of a word is often (usually? always?) relevant when we're speaking of what's covered and what's not.

Okay Henry, what's your point?

Well, FoIB Bill M sent along a link to this little item:

And indeed, this appears to be very much the case.

In researching this post, I learned a few things, myself:

First, as usual, consulting the exclusions of a policy is generally pretty helpful in determining whether or not you have a valid claim (we'll circle back to this).

Second,the type of plan you have matters: individual versus group plans, even from the same company, may treat the issue differently (and indeed, one such carrier's individual plan has no exclusion for riot-related claims, while their group plans do).

Third, and I think this may the be the most important distinction of all: among those plans which exclude riots (and/or civil unrest), some exclude only those injuries resulting while an active participant, while others just exclude any and all riot-related expenses. This is important, as we've seen innocent folks pulled from their cars and others hit in the head by bricks thrown at them from yards away.

Oh, and what about other kinds of insurance? Well, turns out that, in general:

·         Life insurance (no longer) has no such exclusion, but Accidental Death riders may
·         Some individual disability plans do exclude riots/civil unrest, and some don't
·         Group plans seem to ...

And what about the Big Daddy, Medicare? Well, that also kinda depends. According to Kaiser Health News, "Medicare, the insurance program for people age 65 and older and people with disabilities, doesn’t have these exclusions."

BUT: Medigap policies (Supplements) typically follow Medicare's lead on what's covered or not, but that doesn't seem to be universal. For example, Viva Medicare Select Plus says:

"... the following items and services are not covered by ViVa Medicare Plus Select:47. Services required as a result of participation in a riot"


As usual, check with your own agent or carrier (or simply look up the exclusions in your policy itself). In this case, it really does pay to be informed.

[Special IB thanks to Brian D, Tana H, Beth D, Fred W, Michael B, Roger D, and co-blogger Bob V]
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