As President of the Board of Trustees and interim Center Director, I am writing to inform all men of the Northwest Center that on April 18th, 2012 Chairman of MKPUSA, Mike Elser, announced effective immediately: All STAFF/MOS, Initiates and brother dancers who choose to go into the brother dance sweat are required to carry Medical Insurance to participate in any New Warrior Training Adventure.
So, that is the bombshell. I’m sure you all have many questions. I will do my best to answer them here and as they come in.
1. Where did this come from?
This is not actually a new policy. Insurance has always been required, however, we were just not enforcing it. In the past we relied on the statement in the Participation and Release Form below:
9. Health and Liability Insurance. I confirm that I have adequate health and/or other insurance to cover any injury or damage I may cause or suffer while participating in the Activities, or that I am financially able and agree to bear the costs of such injury or damage to myself, property, or others.
MKPUSA currently believes that this statement will not hold up in court. And, individually and collectively, we become liable should someone incur medical expense during an NWTA. This exact scenario has occurred and MKP USA has settled. We as an organization have been very lucky that the cases have been few and the dollar amounts have not been great. They could be catastrophic.
2. What is MKP USA doing to help with the situation?
MKP USA is working to find EVENT COVERAGE for all NWTAs. This is an insurance that would cover medical/injuries for all participants on an NWTA (Both staff and participants). It is unlikely that they will have this in place prior to our May NWTA. I do not know how long it will take for MKPUSA to resolve this situation and we must deal with current reality.
3. What can you do now if you do not have insurance and you want to staff or invite a friend to the weekend that does not have insurance?
You can obtain Short Term Health Insurance. This is fairly easily obtained. It does not cover nor even ask about pre-existing conditions. It is one month coverage insurance and typically has high deductibles. It would cover you after the deductable was met for big injuries. You can find this coverage at https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/short-term-health-insurance
4. How much does this insurance cost?
Depends on how you respond to the questions asked and the deductible chosen. The higher deductible the lower the policy cost. The key factor is finding a policy that has up to $250,000 coverage.
I am sad to be the messenger of this information. It was not easy for me to digest. I am here to answer questions and to seek collaboration. If there are any insurance men reading this, I would welcome your advice. I believe that together, with full awareness of the emotions stirred, that together we will meet this challenge and bring our best selves forward to continue to thrive as men and as a service to our communities.
NOW, for men who are on staff/MOS for May, the Northwest Center Board of Trustees has decided our Center will reimburse you for the cost of your short-term policy. This of course, depends on your decision to participate. We anticipate this additional cost to the Center at around $1,500. Concerning Initiates, David Fen and I will be contacting men and letting them know of this policy change. We will offer them the same option of getting a short-term policy should they choose and the Northwest Center will deduct that amount from the initiate fees we pay MKPUSA.
BROTHER DANCERS, for this May 2012 NWTA only, I am deeply saddened to say that we have chosen to cancel the brother dancer sweat. Adding more chaos of who can and can’t sweat will not serve any of us. Brother dancers are more than welcome to spend the night and have breakfast with staff in the morning. This practice has not changed. In leu of the sweat, I would invite brother dancers to come at the normal time with the intention of circling up and checking in before joining the staff container.
Thank you for your continued support and patience.
President of BOT