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Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong

 


stratoflyer

Apr 18, 2018, 10:47 PM
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Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong Can't Post

In Early April at Skydive Arizona tandem videoguy and all around nice guy, Chong, crashed a landing and is encountering unanticipated medical bills with only a fund raiser to make them less painful after multiple surgeries. Here is the info and thanks in advance. Support for Michael Huff https://www.gofundme.com/support-for-michael-huff?pc=tw_dn_cpgntopnavlarge_r&rcid=r01-152410924721-8621928220114e72


Westerly

Apr 19, 2018, 2:46 PM
Post #2 of 13 (2355 views)
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Re: [stratoflyer] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

stratoflyer wrote:
In Early April at Skydive Arizona tandem videoguy and all around nice guy, Chong, crashed a landing and is encountering unanticipated medical bills with only a fund raiser to make them less painful after multiple surgeries. Here is the info and thanks in advance. Support for Michael Huff https://www.gofundme.com/support-for-michael-huff?pc=tw_dn_cpgntopnavlarge_r&rcid=r01-152410924721-8621S928220114e72

Shouldent that be covered under workmans compensation? If he got hurt doing his job, then his employer has to cover it. Or let me guess, they 1099ed the guy to screw him out of benefits they would otherwise be legally required to provide?


Anachronist

Apr 19, 2018, 3:03 PM
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Westerly wrote:
Shouldentthat be covered under workmans compensation? If he got hurt doing his job, then his employer has to cover it. Or let me guess, they 1099ed the guy to screw him out of benefits they would otherwise be legally required to provide?

Almost certainly a 1099. That is a little fuzzy though since they are using the DZ's or leased aircraft, especially for the TI since they might be using DZ gear. But skydiving tends to operate in a lot of "fuzzy" areas. I also imagine the rate is very very high.

That said, workman's comp sucks.

That said, I'll never criticize someone for donating (I have on numerous occasions) or asking for donations. And I really liked Skydivers Unite when it was still around. And even with insurance the bills can pile up. I broke my leg with insurance and it still cost me about $7k out of pocket. BUT, skydiving in any capacity, much less as a profession without very good insurance is monumentally retarded. I don't know if it was this guy's case, I hope not, because the $10k goal is a drop in the bucket for pelvic fractures.


(This post was edited by Anachronist on Apr 19, 2018, 3:05 PM)


Westerly

Apr 19, 2018, 3:39 PM
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Re: [] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

I cant believe a TI would be okay with 1099. That is absolutely absurd. For one, that means they have no liability protection unless they are listed as an additional insured (unlikely) which means if the student gets hurt and sues, they are 100% on their own to pay $350 an hour for an attorney to represent them. It also means no workman's compensation coverage and no health insurance coverage which I presume means many TIs dont even have health coverage. For a job as dangerous as a TI's that's so absurd it should be outright illegal (and it probably is). 1099s are intended for legitimate contractors who operate real businesses with a real business presence, not for employers to skirt all the employment laws.


(This post was edited by Westerly on Apr 19, 2018, 3:41 PM)


RockSkyGirl  (D 35756)

Apr 19, 2018, 8:00 PM
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Re: [Westerly] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

Many videographers and TIs are private contractors. They work for a dz but are really doing business AT that dz by the dz's rules but under their own LLC.
As such, workman's comp, or employer-covered insurance, overtime, all that stuff - doesn't apply.

And the cost for medical insurance in the state of Arizona, when you don't have it subsidized by your employer, is sky-high. You're talking more than one pays in rent, every month, for many people - and that doesn't even take into account the thousands in deductible you have to pay before the insurance covers a damned thing. And so there are many people uninsured (and when the state's rates go up 20+% next year, it'll get even worse). Just as example - I make only a little bit too much to qualify for any government subsidy - and I'm healthy with no preexisting conditions, don't smoke, none of that - and yet the lowest cost qualifying plan for me in AZ is still considered BY THE GOVERNMENT to be unaffordable for me, because it is more than 8.16% of my income per month (BEFORE taxes); and the deductible even on that one is more than $7000. And so I stay lightly-loaded, I don't even think about swooping, I stand down in marginal conditions, I'm as careful as I can be; and I know that if I manage to wreck myself anyway, I'm going to be declaring bankruptcy.

It's easy to rant about people who don't have insurance, if you make so little that the government subsidies take most of the burden; or if you have really good coverage from your employer. But if you're in the ever-growing segment which falls through those cracks, you're screwed.

We're all wishing Mike a speedy and full recovery, and maybe the fundraiser we contributed to was only a drop in the bucket, but when you make your living entirely by jumping out of planes, every little bit helps.


Anachronist

Apr 19, 2018, 8:39 PM
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Re: [RockSkyGirl] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

RockSkyGirl

I'm picking up what you're putting down, but consider the following.

Sure if you pound in and bust a femur/pelvis/spine then "ok peace out I'm bankrupt" is an option, but will follow you a long time.

What is more likely to happen is you get a tib/fib fracture and maybe some broken ribs. Now you're out 30-50k, probably not worth bankruptcy for but enough to be financially crippling. Then in 10 to 20 years your pieced back together limb needs a joint replacement or fixation, another 30-50k. Maybe you end up without broken vertebrae but nerve damage and need years of PT and follow ups or back surgery sometime in the future. It isn't the coup-de-gras that is really horrifying, it is the lifetime of financial hardship and pain, the slow bleeding that can make life miserable. I'm in the medical field and see people's lives completely destroyed on a daily basis, it isn't an abstract concept for me, so I might take it a little more seriously than others.

So, that said Blue Skies and I hope you never get injured, but if you can afford insurance and still keep food on the table, do it; or at least take a very hard look at your participation in skydiving.


(This post was edited by Anachronist on Apr 19, 2018, 8:41 PM)


Anachronist

Apr 19, 2018, 8:40 PM
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Re: [Westerly] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

Westerly wrote:
I cant believe a TI would be okay with 1099. That is absolutely absurd. For one, that means they have no liability protection unless they are listed as an additional insured (unlikely) which means if the student gets hurt and sues, they are 100% on their own to pay $350 an hour for an attorney to represent them. It also means no workman's compensation coverage and no health insurance coverage which I presume means many TIs dont even have health coverage. For a job as dangerous as a TI's that's so absurd it should be outright illegal (and it probably is). 1099s are intended for legitimate contractors who operate real businesses with a real business presence, not for employers to skirt all the employment laws.

You're right, but that is exactly what they do, and many other trades.


shveddy  (D 30995)

Apr 20, 2018, 7:46 AM
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Re: [RockSkyGirl] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

I fucked up and had a pretty bad skydiving injury once. The medical expenses ruined me, and it didn't cover any ongoing care. I had insurance. It was in the USA.

I left the country as soon as I could kinda/sorta walk again, and I doubt I'll ever go back except for short visits. Now I pay 110 dollars a month for a plan that covers everything, including numerous necessary procedures and benefits that were specifically excluded from my US based plan, and all I have to pay is a 200 dollar annual deductible.

This guy gets a donation out of solidarity.

But the USA needs to fix its bullshit system.


(This post was edited by shveddy on Apr 20, 2018, 7:49 AM)


shveddy  (D 30995)

Apr 20, 2018, 7:51 AM
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Re: [stratoflyer] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

https://www.gofundme.com/...721-8621928220114e72


stratoflyer

Apr 22, 2018, 8:29 AM
Post #10 of 13 (1788 views)
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Re: [shveddy] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks to all for the support and info. I am sure he will appreciate the interest and advice being expressed.

As for the 1099 factor.
The skydiving industry should support its front-line promoters/emissaries, the people who's dedication
to getting the shots often aids in advertising and
education. Skydiving has grown in direct proportion
to utilization of videography,,, rooted in the innovative
efforts of camera fliers, which are poached by corporate types with little regard/recognition for source efforts.

Without you guys there would be far less advancement
in nearly every discipline.

Hats off to the creative spirits that helped make
skydiving more visually valuable.


Westerly

Apr 22, 2018, 11:33 AM
Post #11 of 13 (1759 views)
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Re: [RockSkyGirl] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

RockSkyGirl wrote:
And so I stay lightly-loaded, I don't even think about swooping, I stand down in marginal conditions, I'm as careful as I can be; and I know that if I manage to wreck myself anyway, I'm going to be declaring bankruptcy.
That will only work for emergency care. The legal limit of any hospital is to get you medically stable so you dont die. That's it. So you will get a ride to the ER and they will perform any surgeries needed to make you medically stable. But in any serious injury, that's not going to be enough. If you want to actually fully recover you're going to need lots of follow-on treatment which the hospital will not provide without cash or insurance up front. In the case of something like a back injury, this follow-up treatment could easily make the difference between a full recovery and being confined to a wheel chair with chronic pain for life.

Injury is not the only thing to be concerned with either. Even seemingly healthy, young adults can develop medical conditions which if left untreated can result in life threatening conditions (e.g. tumors, a wide range of cancers, ect. ect). When that happens to you (eventually everyone gets something), being able to treat it early could easily save your life.

i fully get that insurance is a rip-off and affordable without employer co-payments. I too have seen the $500-a-month price tags for crappy plans despite my otherwise good health. Even if you have 'good' health insurance, often it's not nearly as good as you think it is. However, in the end it is rather important to have access to health care and if that means finding a new job/ career that provides better benefits, it may be worth it.


CTSkydiver  (D 18461)

May 14, 2018, 1:12 AM
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Re: [Westerly] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

Is there a dropzone anywhere in the United States today that still puts its instructors (and photographers) on the internal payroll? Was there ever?

Seems even generating contractor 1099s has become too much a burden (or liability) these days ... with some dropzones moving instead to having a staff that is paid in cash, before every transaction, by the clients themselves.

I get it. Skydiving is inherently dangerous and operating a dropzone is hella expensive. Even a small dropzone has capital resources enough to be seen as a juicy target in a civil lawsuit, and it might only take one of those to bankrupt a place. I can certainly see why a DZO would want to put as many legal safeguards and bulwarks in place between their 'business' and 'their staff' as possible; if the arrangement can somehow help get them off the hook if one of their instructors screws up and hurts themselves ... or someone else. Better for the community that one easily replaceable instructor goes down than everyone at the DZ lose their livelihood, yeah?

My guess is there aren't a lot of independently wealthy folks with great health insurance plans volunteering to do this kind of work seven days a week. The rest of us know they are probably just one bad day from financial ruin if they aren't there already. Sure, we could choose not to do it ... and go get a crappy but higher-paying job with good benefits working in some cubicle somewhere ... but that's just not the way we are wired. We all know the system sucks and that it's hardly fair to us; yet, we still choose to do the work because life isn't fair to LOTS of people, and because we recognize that on a good day, this job, at least, definitely does not suck. And should we finally opt out, it won't really matter ... there is no shortage of eager newbs salivating for the chance to take our slots.

I am wondering if perhaps the move away from 1099s wasn't a DZO inspired thing but a jumper inspired one? If you aren't 1099'd, and are paid exclusively in cash, then I guess it is up to the individual jumper what he declares as his or her income when it comes time to pay his or her taxes, and secure some sort of insurance. Could be pretty sketchy ... but, after all, isn't owning your own business and being able to cheat on your taxes the true American Dream?

(Sigh)


gowlerk  (C 3196)

May 14, 2018, 6:53 AM
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Re: [CTSkydiver] Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
but, after all, isn't owning your own business and being able to cheat on your taxes the true American Dream?


This is a uniquely American problem. The rest of the western world supplies health insurance to it's citizens. Although all the tax and longer term injury complications probably apply everywhere.



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