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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Check Your Insurance Policy

Are YOU Covered?

My friend who is medically retired as a NWA Captain recently learned that her husband has never been medically covered as he worked on his farm over the years. Despite her numerous calls where agents assured them that he was covered... they were wrong. She learned this because a farmer was severely burned and his medical bills exceeded a million plus dollars, so she decided she look into this further.

This message is going out to all NWA retirees, all airline retirees, and anyone who is counting on their spouse's Airline Medical Insurance because they have their own business, I recommend you look into this.

Search: Exclusions

"Page 33 of the NWA medical contract (112 pages) table of contents under Exclusions."


Unless otherwise specifically included, benefits will not be paid under Basic Health Coverage, if so covered, or under Major Medical Coverage, if so covered, for charges:

(A) Resulting from sickness covered by a Worker's Compensation Act or similar law.

(B) Resulting from accidental injury arising out of or in the course of employment for wages or profit.

(C) Resulting from an act of war, whether declared or undeclared; or injury sustained while the Covered Person is in military service for any country at war.

(D) For services furnished by a hospital or facility operated by any government or any authorized agency of any government, or furnished at the expense of such government or agency, unless the Covered Person would be required to pay such charges.

(E) For eye refractions or eye examinations for the correction of vision or fitting of glasses, furnishing or replacement of glasses, or furnishing of hearing aids.

(F) For dental treatment or dental X-ray.

Clause of Importance
For the Self-Employed

"Resulting from accidental injury arising out of
or in the course of employment for wages or profit."

Anyone working a retirement job? Are you working in the simulator for someone else? Flying charter for yourself, or someone else? Does your wife work for the airline and you're counting Any job that you are working, and gaining profit, and may have an accident that will require medical will not be covered under your NWA policy.

Most employers will, or should have, coverage. And if you're working for someone else, Labor and Industry will cover you. But for those of you who are self-employed... Buy insurance.

My friend shared with me a company that provides very reasonable insurance in Oregon: SAIF So we know it's available.

Are You Retired from Another Airline?

It would be wise to do a little "exclusion" search to learn if you and your family are covered.

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene


  1. Very tricky stuff these days, health insurance. Not that the contracts were ever easy to read, but sometimes this sort of thing represents a change the insurance company has made due to increasing costs etc., and somehow it gets buried in 112 pages of specifics that they've got to know most people will never read. This is excellent advice you're giving!

    1. Thank you Linda. I think my new manual... on a similar policy is 300 pages plus. Have I read it yet? No. How many people have? Not many. We purchase the insurance packages the companies display. On the surface, they look great. But they aren't as good when you look into them. Did you know as a pilot, I am not allowed to go have my blood tested to see if I'm healthy and if I need anything in my body? Only until I get sick, am I allowed by my very expensive policy to get my blood tested.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Apparently most medical policies have this exclusion - that is why Oregon invented SAIF. I was so sure Kevin was insured...I asked so many representatives, and we even searched the contract...but it was so long, we kept missing it until we tried exclusions. Sad that you are paying $700+ a month for coverage that doesn't cover!!

    1. Kathy, Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. And $700 is for employed... the retired from my company, I think is double that. Now, we must share the word with our NWA friends. But this is really for everyone to check their policy!

  3. This is frightening, WRONG and frightening. Thank you so much for bringing this to light Karlene!

  4. Tricky stuff. Always read the fine print, but gee, 120 pages of fine print? Who reads all that?


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