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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

more help needed

Time to open up the hearts again, folks.

Tara Llanes, one of America's best dirt speedqueens, took a serious digger and is paralyzed from the waist down. It's one of those nightmare scenarios we all dread.

They are getting a rehab/relief fund set up asap ~ so , please check her site often for details.

let's show the love to those that risk.


PROMANgirl said...


Velo Bella said...

thats heartbreaking....

russellp said...

This accident and AJM's crash have me wondering what the insurance situation is, both for athletes and promoters. Certainly we all sign waivers when registering saying that the race organizers can't be held responsible for damage we inflict upon ourselves.

I see two quick objections to the idea of insurance for racers. First, expense--how much would it cost? If some small part of race fees of all USCF-endorsed events were for health insurance coverage, maybe not too much? A second objection is that it could lead to overly reckless behavior.

Possibly I'm just not in the know, too: maybe USCF did help out AJM and will help out Tara to some degree. I'd be happy knowing that there is a support system beyond the kindness of their peers.

Anyhow, if some knowledgeable and/or actuarially-inclined person could do the hard thinking for me here, it'd be appreciated--my grey cells are wigging out right now.

Best wishes to Ms. Llanes, too.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

it's pretty limited, Russell:

The benefit provisions are as follows:

Medical Expense (maximum) $25,000*
Accidental Death and Dismemberment $1,000

*Maximum benefit of $500 for Dental, Orthopedic, Physical Therapy and Transportation.

Our 2007 policy provides coverage as follows:

1. It is excess coverage
2. There is a $1,000 deductible per accident if the rider has primary coverage and $5,000 deductible per accident if the rider does not have primary coverage.

Policy exclusions:

Rider Accident Insurance does not apply to loss caused by or resulting from:

1. An Insured Person who is in, entering or exiting any aircraft owned, operated or leased by USA Cycling;
2. An Insured Person acting or training as a pilot or crew member;
3. Emotional trauma, mental or physical illness, disease, pregnancy, childbirth or miscarriage, bacterial or viral infection, or
bodily malfunctions;
4. Suicide, attempted suicide, or self-inflicted injuries; or
5. Declared or undeclared war.

Casey said...

$2 per rider per day is paid by a race promoter to USAC as an insurance surcharge. In 2005 USAC paid $961,101 for insurance. The majority of this went to cover the cost of the medical portion of the USAC insurance. The cost of insurance is one of the largest expenses USAC has.

Total revenues for USAC for 2005 were $7,783,583 so the insurance bill for USAC was a bit over 12% of total revenues in 2005. If I remember correctly one of the reasons why our license fees went up in 2006 was because of increasing insurance costs. If I remember correctly USAC was looking at an insurance bill of close to 1.5 million but I think the final price came in a bit under this amount. Unfortunately there are a lot of riders making claims on the USAC medical coverage each year which keeps driving up the cost of insurance for USAC.

Casey said...

In case someone was wondering so far this year 70 races in Nor Cal have generated $51,792 in USAC insurance surcharges. This figure doesn't include the national level races ( ie the NRC events) which I don't process the post event paperwork for.

russellp said...

OV and KC: Thanks for digging out the details and the numbers, it's good to know/be reminded.

Anonymous said...

In other words.............
the situation is brutal.
If a cyclist gets really hurt it can be horrible for them financially and horrible for their families. I am talking really hurt, not a AJM type of hurt, but really hurt. Imagine never walking again. Never standing on your own. Needing help to deal with your bodily functions every day and every night.
USA Cycling really covers themselves to the letter of the law, and for the individual thats hurt, it is not a pretty picture. Medical expenses maximum, 25,000$ .... that covers the helicopter ride and maybe 2 nights in the hospital, thats it! I can remember doing mtb nationals with Tara and she was just a junior starting out dh and slalom racing- crossing over from BMX. That was so many years ago and I knew she would be one of the best female racers of her time. Lets pray she can get thru this and that she has the strength to face her new life from here on out. Every day there are people who face this, and she will be a inspiration to everyone I am sure. We also need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves have we done enough to help people who have been paralized or people confined to wheel chairs. It does not have to be money, but it can be time given to help them, a friendly smile and a show of love. It really is the little things that matter in these situations. Not who wins a race, who is the fastest on a bike, who has the best sprint, who can climb up hill the best, it is the one who shows the most compassion and love that really is the great person. The true champion is the individual who fights on after a life changing injury and inspires and teaches others about the ordeal. It is so easy to take everything for granted, and we all need to reach out to anyone who faces the ultimate challenge of being handicapped and applaud them for they are the true winners in life. The big victory is showing love and support to all who face this ordeal. Sure your great if you can win a race, but true greatness comes out when your in a hospital bed being faced with never being able to walk again. This is when true life begins and the amazing power from within needs to come out. It is easy to cheer for people racing their bike, but the ones who need chearing are in the same situation as Tara, they are fighting the most dificult fight of all. So they are the ones that need love and support and help, even if it is a small gesture. If you see someone handicapped or in a wheel chair, dont look away, show them a smile and show them love and go out of your way to bring warmth to their heart. Love and caring can go a long way.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post! Thanks Olaf for posting about this.

I think we all need to pray hard for Tara to stay strong and positive.

And go out of our way to help others who are going thru the same things she is now starting to face.

These are very hard subjects to deal with, and it is so easy to go on with our life and not contemplate how others face so much worse scenarios then we can imagine.

Thanks to you Olaf for having your little blog to shed a small light on things like this.


Anonymous said...

My prayers and support go out to Tara. We raced the Super D together this year at Sea Otter. She was always so positive, I know she can stay strong.

Casey said...

Although it isn't normally the type of thing healthy bicycle racers think about looking into buying long term care insurance might be a good idea. Long term care insurance covers those ongoing expenses ( like assisted living, home care etc) that regular medical insurance doesn't cover. This type of insurance gets more expensive as you get older since it is most often used for older people who can no longer fully care for themselves. This type of insurance can also be used by younger people who can't take care of themselves due to injury or other medical reasons.

It wasn't that long ago that USAC offered 1 million dollars of catastrophic medical coverage as part of the secondary medical insurance. Due to rising costs USAC dropped this extra medical coverage for the current $25,000 in coverage.

Yea medical insurance of any nature is expensive but but if you have your own coverage's you will generally be better off than depending on the whims of what an organization like USAC decides what they can afford to offer this year vs next year.

Anonymous said...

The situation for Tara appears awful but she will probably have a lot more support than most paraplegics. Many paraplegics are victims of motor vehicle accidents or gun violence. Society often holds them responsible for their situation as it does for the homeless, drug dependent and mentally ill.

Anonymous said...

good point

nosajpalnud said...

"Yea medical insurance of any nature is expensive but but if you have your own coverage's you will generally be better off than depending on the whims of what an organization like USAC decides what they can afford to offer this year vs next year."

I can't imagine bike racing without your own health insurance - especially crits.