Does Life Insurance Cover Skydiving?
For adrenaline junkies, there’s often no better feeling than going skydiving. It’s hard to find anything that compares to the feeling of flying through the air and taking in views from above. However, going skydiving can come with some risk. Accidents happen, even to those with plenty of experience and the best equipment. If you like to go skydiving, you’ll want to make sure that you have good life insurance. However, you may be worried that life insurance won’t cover you because of your risky lifestyle. Here’s what you need to know about life insurance for skydivers.
Can I Get Life Insurance If I am a Skydiver?
You can, but a standard life insurance policy may not cover it. On the life insurance application, it will ask if you engage in activities such as rock climbing or skydiving. If you do, beware because the policy may have a rider excluding a payout if you die while skydiving. If you want to make sure that your beneficiaries will get paid even if you die engaging in skydiving or other excluded activities (usually piloting small planes, skydiving, rock climbing, scuba diving, and bungee jumping form the list) you need to be upfront with your insurance agent. They will make sure to write a policy that does not exclude a death claim from being paid on if you die engaging in one or all of these hobbies.
Why do I Need Life Insurance as a Skydiver?
Although skydiving is an incredible experience, it’s also one that can come with some serious consequences. Although skydiving equipment and technique have advanced dramatically since the high-flying sport first started, the nature of jumping from a plane puts you at risk for serious injuries and death. In fact, the biggest risk factor for skydivers is human error, rather than an equipment malfunction. The chances of dying in a skydiving accident are roughly 1 in 500,000, while roughly 3 out of every 10,000 dives results in injury. Some of the most common injuries that result from skydiving are broken and dislocated bones, back and spinal cord injuries, whiplash, and eye trauma. Even if the accident itself isn’t deadly, the resulting injuries can be, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry and invest in insurance.
What Kind of Insurance can I get?
As a skydiver, your best bet for life insurance is to get a skydiver-specific policy. Because of the risky nature of skydiving, most insurance companies won’t insure you on their traditional plans. However, you can get a plan designed specifically for skydivers to ensure that you are still covered. While you will still likely end up spending more than if you were not a skydiver, it can mitigate some of the costs that you might encounter if you were to try and get a more traditional form of insurance.
There are several different types of insurance available for skydivers. You can opt for level term insurance, which only lasts for a specified period of time, or for a permanent insurance plan, which covers you for your entire life. Term insurance is typically much more affordable than permanent life insurance. Permanent life insurance, which includes whole life insurance and universal life insurance, provides broader coverage and usually has a cash value component associated with the policy. This cash value component can be invested as a way to grow your wealth.
Why Will I Need to Pay More as a Skydiver?
When insurance companies determine the premiums for your policy, they will look at many factors to determine how likely you are to make a claim, or in less polite terms, how likely you are to die. One of these factors is your lifestyle and hobbies. Because skydiving is considered a risky hobby, you will be charged extra premiums for it. However, insurance policies for skydiving are not as expensive as insurance for many other dangerous sports and activities, in part because of the improvements in equipment and safety regulations for skydivers over the years.
How much you will end up paying for your life insurance is going to depend on how often you skydive. Typically, the insurance company will calculate a base rate for your premium without factoring in your skydiving, and then add a flat fee on top of it. These flat fees could be anywhere from $2 to $10 per thousand dollars of death benefit coverage.
If you only skydive once or twice, you typically won’t have to pay extra for your life insurance. However, if you skydive regularly, even just a few times a year, you’ll likely pay between $2 and $5 per thousand for your flat fee. If you a more regular skydiver, that amount could go up to $10. The insurance company will determine this based on the number of times you jump each year. If you have $100,000 in life insurance coverage, and you are charged a $2 flat fee for skydiving, you will pay an extra $200 in premiums for the year, in addition to the premiums you are already paying.
How Can I Keep My Life Insurance Premiums Down?
If you’re a skydiver, you may be wondering what you can do to lower the cost of your life insurance. While you can’t get out of paying the skydiving flat fees, there are some small things you can do to lower the cost of your life insurance. The biggest thing that factors into the cost of your premiums is your health, so try to eat well and exercise regularly, as well as avoiding smoking and drugs, and drinking in moderation if at all. You can also lower your life insurance premiums by lowering the cost of your death benefit. If you go for this option, it’s important to be careful, as you’ll still want enough coverage to pay off debts and funeral expenses.
Skydiving Health Restrictions – What Are The Requirements?
Lots of people, of all ages, come to us for the full story on skydiving health requirements and restrictions. After all: This “skydiving” thing is a high-intensity undertaking, and the medical restrictions around skydiving must reflect that. If you manage a medical condition but your bucket list contains skydiving, you need to know what questions to ask – and of whom – in order to really know if it’s a good idea to make that jump.
We first want to applaud you for your foresight. We only have one body to carry our soul around this big, beautiful world, after all, and we’re charged with taking good care of it. If you’re skydiving with high blood pressure, skydiving with a disability, skydiving with diabetes, or skydiving with any other health consideration, you want to be sure that the risks aren’t too considerable. You’re already walking a steeper path than most.
Not all older clients have skydiving health restrictions – Anna May is 83 and jumps with us every year!
To Skydive Or Not To Skydive? Making Your Health Decision
Let’s take one example from the group: Lots of people skydive with high blood pressure. Should they? If we’re being honest, each call has to be made on a case-by-case basis, with the input of a healthcare provider who knows you and who understands the true risks and requirements of skydiving. In our decades of experience, we’ve found that, if someone has high blood pressure but it’s well-managed , they shouldn’t automatically be excluded. It’s just never as black-and-white as that. In fact, medical conditions that prevent you from skydiving are pretty uncommon. Multiple amputees skydive . We even know of blind sport skydivers . The same holds true for a paraplegic ( Jarrett Martin , for example.)
At the Right Dropzone, The Sky is Surprisingly Accessible
‘Wait wait, you’re sputtering, right? I had no idea that paraplegics can skydive!’
Indeed, dear reader. A big part of facilitating skydiving for the mobility-impaired leans on the skill and experience of the tandem instructors. Lots of dropzones are unable to take on the risk of jumping with disabled tandem students because they aren’t comfortable experimenting with new methods – especially from planes on the cozier side of the size range. At the Wisconsin Skydiving Center, however, our long experience in supporting new skydivers of different health and abilities allows us to extend the miracle of human flight to almost all people, assessing each individual based on their unique level of mobility and how they fit into the tandem skydiving harness.
Except for our strictly enforced weight limit, Wisconsin Skydiving Center doesn’t preclude anybody from jumping right out of the gate. With that said, each individual jumper with health restrictions would need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon things like the exact nature of the medical issue, flexibility and strength. Our Chief Instructor, Bo Babovic, personally handles all tandems that require additional attention in regards to mobility. If you have mobility issues, don’t be a stranger. Come on down to the DZ in advance, spend a weekend barbecuing, sky-watching, and sunning with us to see what’s possible.
You too can make a successful skydive!
What Are The Skydiving Health Requirements?
Combing the internet for information on skydiving health requirements is a circular endeavor indeed. At some point, if you really want to skydive (and you do!), you’re going to need to have a conversation with your doctor. You’re also going to need to have a conversation with a reputable, professional dropzone with the experience and know-how to advise you – in your unique situation – thoughtfully.
It should go without saying that our advice here is not the advice of a medical professional. We have, however, seen a lot in our time and travels, and we’re an excellent first port of call for information about skydiving health requirements and restrictions.
In conclusion: if you’ve got a special case you’d like to discuss, get in touch with us. A member of the team will be more than happy to help.
When you’re thinking about skydiving and health (including mental and psychological health), the key point to remember is this: Skydiving is a sport. It can be an intense one! The rule of thumb is to address the usual suspects (high blood pressure, glasses, age, weight, diabetes, bad back/neck/knee/ankle/spleen, etc.) in the athletic context. The upshot is simple: Skydiving might not be as impossible as you’d think. And it’s definitely worth it.
Is It Mandatory To Have Health Insurance in 2022?
Since 2019, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not had a federal individual mandate penalty for the uninsured, which will remain in 2022. Four states and DC will impose a tax penalty on those who do not have health insurance.
State-Imposed Health Insurance Coverage Mandates
The federal penalty for not having health insurance (the individual mandate) was repealed in 2019. Still, states can impose tax penalties on their residents. Generally, the penalty applies to people who decide to go without health insurance but can afford it.
The state penalties are similar to the ACA individual mandate of 2018. The state individual mandate tax is based on the tax year, not the calendar year. It is paid when you file your taxes. The table below shows the tax penalties for 2022 in each state.
Tax Penalties for Those Who are Uninsured by State
- No penalty if your income is less than 150% of the poverty level for the lowest-cost ConnectorCare plan if your income is between 150.1-300% of the poverty level
- 50% of the cost of the lowest-cost bronze plan available through the Massachusetts Health Connector if your income is over 300% of the poverty level
- Depends on household income and family size
- The maximum penalty the average cost of a bronze plan in New Jersey
- In 2020 the minimum tax penalty was $695 and the maximum was $3,012
- $750 per uninsured adult and $375 per uninsured adult or 2.5 percent of household income (whichever amount is greater)
- Maximum penalty equal to the average premium for a bronze level plan in CA (does not apply if that premium exceeds 8.28% of household income)
- $695 per uninsured adult and $347.50 per child or 2.5 percent of income (whichever amount is greater)
- Up to a maximum of $2,085 per family
- The maximum penalty will be equal to the cost of the average bronze plan in Rhode Island
- $695 per uninsured adult and $347.50 per child or 2.5% of household income (whichever amount is greater)
- The maximum penalty is the average cost of a bronze plan in DC ($3,448 in 2020)
Health Insurance Penalty Exemptions
The main exemption from the state-level individual mandate is the affordability exemption. If the least expensive plan premium is greater than around 8% of your household income in 2021, there is no tax penalty for being uninsured.
There are several other exemptions which include:
- Low income (below 138-150% of the federal poverty level)
- Religious conscience exemption
- Hardship exemption: homelessness, eviction, natural disaster, domestic violence, bankruptcy, or other disrupting life events
- Short coverage gap (three months or less)
- Part of a federally recognized Native American tribe
You can file for a hardship exemption here. To find out more about state-specific exemptions, you can visit the state website:
Open Enrollment for Health Insurance in 2023
Open enrollment is when you can enroll in a health insurance plan through the Marketplace. Coverage begins the first day of the month after you sign up. The open enrollment period for health insurance coverage in 2022 ended on January 15, 2022.
For states that use the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange, the 2023 open enrollment period (OEP) begins November 1, 2022 and ends December 15, 2022 in most states. States may have different date ranges.
Tentative Open Enrollment 2023 Dates
November 1, 2022: Open Enrollment begins
December 15, 2022: Open Enrollment ends (extensions may be granted)
January 1, 2023: Earliest health insurance plan start date
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Special Enrollment Period
Various qualifying events allow you to obtain coverage during the Special Enrollment Period. You can be granted 60 or 90 days to enroll in a plan with proof of a qualifying life event. Qualifying life events include:
- Losing health coverage
- Getting married or divorced
- Having a baby
- Adopting a child
- Becoming a United States citizen
Alternatives to Health Insurance Through the Exchange
Health insurance premiums are often expensive and out of reach for many who need access to affordable care. Since there are no penalties for being uninsured in 2022, many seek health coverage elsewhere. Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional health insurance plans.
Short Term Health Insurance
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have gone through transitional periods and have had a lapse in health care coverage. Short-term health insurance can be a temporary option to protect you from expensive medical bills. You are eligible for short-term coverage if you:
- Change jobs
- Lose employer-sponsored coverage
- Are you waiting for the annual Open Enrollment Period
- Attend out-of-state college
- Other specific instances
Health Insurance Alternatives
A care membership program is another form of health benefit. These are often less expensive and easier to enroll in than traditional health insurance plans. Mira is an alternative to health insurance that helps you access affordable essential services like urgent care centers and lab testing.
Open Enrollment 2022 for Health Insurance Plans Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Open enrollment for 2022 health insurance has passed, but it is crucial to seek health care coverage in other ways. While you are not mandated to have health insurance, there are important considerations when opting out of health insurance.
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Will my current ACA health insurance plan automatically renew?
If you are already enrolled in a health insurance plan through your state’s Marketplace, your plan will automatically renew if available for the following year. Those who live in Maine, Kentucky, and New Mexico will need to claim their new accounts as those states transition away from Healthcare.gov, but auto-renewal is an option for all other enrollees.
Even if you are satisfied with your current plan, auto-renewal is not always the best option. During open enrollment, you should shop around to see if a health insurance plan better suits your needs for three main reasons.
- You are Locked In. If you do not change your current plan, you will be automatically enrolled in the same plan on the last day of open enrollment (December 15 in most states). This means you will not have a chance to change your mind later.
- Subsidies Change Year to Year. Another thing to consider is the amount of your subsidy. Subsidies change year to year, which could result in a higher premium for you and your family. If you browse around for other plans, you could save a substantial amount of money.
- If your plan is discontinued, auto-renewal will result in the exchange or your insurer picking a new plan. There is no guarantee you will be enrolled in a similar plan as the one you were previously enrolled in. They will try to assign you the closest plan, but again, there is no guarantee.
When is Open Enrollment 2023?
Open enrollment for 2023 health insurance is scheduled for November 1, 2022-December 15, 2022. Before it is time to enroll in a health plan, review your options. It is also important to check alternative plans for next year, even if you are currently enrolled.
How do I enroll in a health insurance plan during open enrollment?
You can enroll in a health insurance plan online, over the phone, or in person. To enroll, you will need the following information:
- Name, address, email address, social security number, birthday, and proof of citizenship status
- Household size and income if you want to apply for subsidies (to prove your income, you can provide pay stubs, W2s, your most recent tax return, etc.)
- Coverage details and premium for an employer-sponsored plan that’s available to anyone in your household
- Payment information for your premiums
- Your doctors’ names and zip codes so that you can check to make sure they’re in-network
- A list of medications taken by anyone who will be covered under the policy (to make sure the new plan covers them)
- If you want to enroll in a catastrophic plan and are 30 or older, you’ll need a hardship exemption.
There are no federal mandates for health insurance in 2022 or tax penalties in most states. Few states have enacted penalties for the uninsured, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, and Washington DC.
Regardless of whether your state has a penalty, it is a good idea to have health coverage, whether through a traditional health insurance plan, short-term coverage, or an alternative option like Mira.
Alexis Bryan MPH, is a recent graduate of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. She is passionate about increasing access to care to improve health outcomes. Outside of work, she loves to travel, read, and pay too much attention to her plants.
What will happen if I don’t have health insurance in 2023?
As of 2023, there is currently no federal fine for not enrolling in health insurance. The federal government eliminated the fine in 2019. However, some states/distrcits with individual mandates still have penalties for uninsured individuals. These states are Massachusettes, New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, and Washington, D.C.