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If the big health insurers were doing their jobs, you wouldn’t need us.

Regardless about how you feel about the current state of health insurance in the US, there is a demonstrated need for the coverage we provide. Safe Descents Ski and Snowboard Insurance is an additional layer of protection that fills in coverage gaps in the way insurance policies are written.

Whether you have work-sponsored health insurance, coverage from the health insurance marketplace (the ACA), and/or travel insurance policies, there are always exclusions in the fine print that, unfortunately, leave many people facing expenses that they believed would be covered. Plans vary so much that it’s hard to say exactly what limits and exclusions might be in yours, and as we all know, the insurance industry does not make it easy to find this information.

For example, most travel insurance policies have exclusions that will not cover expenses associated with skiing accidents that occur while in terrain parks. Safe Descents does not have this exclusion.

Most health insurance policies do not cover expenses associated with out-of-network service providers. But when you are in the mountains, in unfamiliar territory, you don’t have the luxury of choice. Then you get blindsided by the surprise ambulance bill for the costs of getting you to the closest appropriate medical care.

Ambulance providers can be run by governments, volunteers, hospitals, private companies, and venture capital firms. As a result, the hospital that you get taken to, or the ambulance company used to get you from the slopes to the hospital may not be in-network for your primary insurance. In addition, if your employer-provided health insurance is self-funded, then there is a lot more variability in what is covered at all.

Most standard health insurance plans don’t include the cost of any kind of medical transportation, even emergency services. They may cover a small portion of a ride to the hospital, or they may cover varying percentages based on how far you had to be driven, what company was called to transport you and other factors.

As another scenario, the ski resort’s local medical facility might be in-network for your plan, however it is increasingly common that the ambulance service used to get you there may be run by a private company, and could be the only service available in the area.

The actual costs of ambulance services are not regulated and varies widely according to geography and population density. Ambulance teams need to be based close to the population they serve, because delay can mean death or brain damage. So, in lower density areas like in rural mountains, ambulance teams will be idle more of the time than in urban areas, which means that rates charged per ride will have to be higher to cover costs.

The bottom line is that most average consumers will end up paying for a ride to the hospital themselves in some part.

Once at the hospital, there’s little question that statistically better outcomes occur when patients are treated in care environments close to their support networks of family and friends. Without medical evacuation and medical repatriation coverage, patients are often forced to recover, sometimes for weeks or months, far from home.

With Safe Descents policy for your ski and snowboard trip, it stops mattering who is in-network and who isn’t. It doesn’t matter if your ambulance is municipal or private. It doesn’t matter whether you made any Open Enrollment coverage decisions this year or not. It doesn’t matter if you are injured far from home.

Safe Descents Pays For:

  • The costs to get you off the mountain (Field Rescue)
  • The costs of an ambulance, helicopter, or plane to get you to the nearest hospital (Emergency Medical Evacuation)
  • The costs to transport you to a hospital or medical facility close to your home (Medical Repatriation)
  • The costs for someone to accompany you or your children back home (Medical Escort)
  • The costs to travel home if your original travel reservation needs to be adjusted due to an injury

For less than five dollars, and a couple of minutes, you can eliminate the need to worry about these gaps in coverage. You can be standing in the lift ticket line, checking your phone, and be covered with a $25,000 policy in seconds – even in your ski boots – at a cost to you that is less than a Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte. No waiting, no medical exam, no hassle. Instantly.

Should you have to purchase supplemental insurance like Safe Descents? No – if the big health insurers were doing their jobs, you wouldn’t need us. But until our fractured healthcare system is fixed, Safe Descents Ski and Snowboard Insurance is the best way to prevent falling through the cracks on your next winter vacation.