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Adventurers and thrill seekers face health-insurance conundrum




Base jumper Anton Chervyakov from Russia leaps from the top of the 421-metre Kuala Lumpur Tower during the International Tower Jump in Kuala Lumpur on September 27, 2012. Some 95 professional basejumpers from 18 countries are taking part in the annual event.
Base jumper Anton Chervyakov from Russia leaps from the top of the 421-metre Kuala Lumpur Tower during the International Tower Jump in Kuala Lumpur on September 27, 2012. Some 95 professional basejumpers from 18 countries are taking part in the annual event.
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Base jumping is the ultimate thrill-seeker's sport. Not just anyone has the courage to leap off a cliff with only a parachute to prevent a sudden death. But many of these adventurers — including rock climbers, and other extreme athletes — may be jumping without a "figurative"parachute: health insurance.

Insurance companies charge a lot in premiums if you're tempting death on a regular basis, and some refuse to even offer coverage. 

Enter the Affordable Care Act. As of next year, everyone is required to have insurance or face a tax penalty. So these athletes are deciding whether to shell out tons of money for insurance that may not even pay off, or opt out and pay the fine?

James Mills writes about this for National Geographic.