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Why good gear? Here's why.

Posted December 25th, 2015 at 05:36 AM by adouglas

TL; DR - You think leathers are expensive? Try a hospital bill on for size. Here's the real cost.

About a month ago, I got a leg infection unrelated to motorcycling. Simple, even trivial thing... a break in the skin on my left calf got infected.

Within 24 hours my leg from the knee to the ankle was the color of corned beef hash, swollen like a party balloon and I had a fever pushing 103.

I wound up in the hospital for five days, on IV antibiotics. That's all they did... no surgery, nothing but a bed, food, 24/7 nursing care and IV.

Yesterday, the bill arrived.

Thankfully, I have a good insurance plan. It does require coinsurance, however. For those who don't know the confusing terminology of the insurance world, coinsurance means that when something costly like a hospital stay happens, the insurance company pays most, but not all, of the bill. You pay the rest.

Here are the actual numbers off the bill:

Charges: $19,848.02
Insurance payment: $19,098.02
Patient balance: $750

If you don't have insurance as good as mine, you'd have paid more.

So let's pretend for a minute that what had actually happened to me was a crash. Say I had to have a big skin graft because my gear was not sufficient to protect me, requiring that same length of hospital stay. Let's also pretend that the cost would have been the same (it wouldn't -- it would have been higher).

The conscious decision to NOT wear good gear would have cost me $750, plus five days in the hospital.

Is buying and wearing that set of leathers starting to look more like a smart investment than a needless expense?

It should.
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