Basic Med for older pilots not good!

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Basic Med for older pilots not good!

Posted by Frank Hollis on Feb 7, 2018 4:27 pm

Basic Med really doesn't work for older pilots 75 and over.  I have owned a basic complex airplane for over 30 years with retractable gear and a constant speed prop.  My current insurance is in the $1200 to $1400 range for $500k liability and does require a yearly medical.  If I was to go with Basic Med with the same coverage it is well over $3000.  So much for Basic Med not increasing premiums. I have 2 quotes for Basic Med one of which is AOPA and they are both over $3000.  This is sure not what I expected when I started to investigate Basic Med.  VERY SAD SITUATION!
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Re: Basic Med for older pilots not good!

Posted by Ronald Levy on Feb 10, 2018 10:48 am

This issue was raised at the AOPA Open House at FDK last summer, and AOPA said they would look into it.  I've not heard anything from AOPA about that since then.

However the requirement by some insurers for an annual aviation medical exam for pilots over a certain age (varies between 65 and 75 depending on the insurer) is not new.  The fact is that once you're over 75, things tend to wear out or degrade, often fairly rapidly, more than before we went on Medicare.  At that point, going four years (or even two years) between exams is opening the door to serious problems cropping up without being noticed, which is why those insurers require annual Third Class exams even though the FAA only requires them every two years.  After all, it's the insurers' money in this game, not the FAA's, which explains the insurers' extra caution.  Thus, I think the insurers' concern is the four years rather than one between aviation medical exams, not the Basic Med process itself.  Perhaps you might ask them if they'd be OK with annual BasicMed compliance as an acceptable alternative to annual Third Class exams with an AME.  Just as with the Third Class issuance, there's nothing which says you can't do the Basic Med process more often than required.

Re: Basic Med for older pilots not good!

Posted by Donald Winslow on Feb 12, 2018 3:40 pm

I am 76, 77 in a few months.  I have not been asked to have a medical exam every year.  I fly my Swift 210hp complex air plane with a Million dollars liability for $442/yr.  Cheaper than my pickup! Have owned this plane for 14 years.  Hull insurance on the Swift seems too way too high due to many accidents and hard to replace parts, so I have never purchased it after the first year.

Re: Basic Med for older pilots not good!

Posted by Ronald Levy on Feb 14, 2018 6:31 pm

Donald Winslow:
I am 76, 77 in a few months.  I have not been asked to have a medical exam every year.  I fly my Swift 210hp complex air plane with a Million dollars liability for $442/yr.  Cheaper than my pickup! Have owned this plane for 14 years.  Hull insurance on the Swift seems too way too high due to many accidents and hard to replace parts, so I have never purchased it after the first year.

It would be helpful if people reporting either difficulties or success in this area would post the name of their insurance company.  That way, the rest of us old [folks] would know both whom to call and whom to avoid.

Re: Basic Med for older pilots not good!

Posted by David Taylor on Feb 19, 2018 9:44 am

I have a friend in the same situation with his Bonanza - insurance doubling at same time as BasicMed was acquired.

This situation reminds me of the problem we had before BasicMed!
Previously it was the FAA who said we all needed their medical - but there was no data saying that the medical prevented anything.

Now we have the insurance companies saying older pilots not getting 3rd class medicals are a big risk - but I have seen no data suggesting such pilots have greater in flight health problems.   I suggest none exists & that insurance companies are using this imagined concern to implement insurance premium opportunism.

I will find out what insurance co he uses and post back.

Re: Basic Med for older pilots not good!

Posted by Ronald Levy on Feb 19, 2018 9:46 pm

David Taylor:
Now we have the insurance companies saying older pilots not getting 3rd class medicals are a big risk -

That's not what they're saying.  What they are actually saying is that they believe is a greater risk for older pilots getting an aviation medical exam every two years compare to those getting one every year.

but I have seen no data suggesting such pilots have greater in flight health problems.

Have you asked the insurers whether they have such data?  Given the competitive nature of the insurance industry, they rarely do anthing which would cost them business without a good actuarial reason.  But my own personal opinion is that they are probably right that elderly pilots have a greater chance of an adverse medical event in the second year after their last aviation medical exam than the first year.

  I suggest none exists & that insurance companies are using this imagined concern to implement insurance premium opportunism.

​Do you have any data to support your contention?

I will find out what insurance co he uses and post back.

​Let us know what you learn when you speak with that insurance company.