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No Sports Exclusions Allowed

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A lawmaker wants to stop health insurers from excluding certain recreational injuries from coverage.[@@]

The lawmaker, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, has introduced H.R. 2793, the HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act.

In 2001, the U.S. Labor Department issued rules aimed at guarding against discrimination in the group health market, Burgess said in a speech on the House floor.

The 2001 rules prohibit health plans from denying coverage to people who engage in recreational activities such as horseback riding and motorcycling.

“However, a loophole was created that allowed insurers to deny payment for services based upon the source of the injury,” Burgess said, according to a version of his remarks printed in the Congressional Record.

The loophole is unfair to the millions of people who ride horses, motorcycles or snowmobiles each year, obey the law and take all required safety measures, Burgess said.

Participants in recreational activities “should not be denied payment for health services for the mere fact that the injury occurred while on horseback or on a motorcycle,” Burgess said.

H.R. 2793 would remove any ambiguity when it comes to participation in certain recreational activities or modes of transportation should an accident occur, Burgess said.


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