This past Friday, UFC lightweight Joe Stevenson postponed an interview with MMAjunkie.com about his career plans.
Why? He was headed across the border to Tijuana, Mexico.
No, he didn't get a good deal on prescriptions, hit the club scene, or pick up some kitsch. He went because he didn't have health insurance, and X-rays on his knee proved cheaper across the border.
Stevenson's X-ray technician in Tijuana said he may have a partial tear of his LCL or PCL. Regardless, he believes he doesn't need surgery. And if he doesn't need surgery, he wants to fight.
Stevenson is just one of many fighters who doesn't have health insurance and meets his health needs by hook or by crook while often relying on a network of friends and sympathetic professionals to receive medical care.
This is the part of MMA you rarely hear about.
The former lightweight contender once had health insurance through his wife, Maia, but lost it when she stopped working after giving birth to their second son. At one point, he applied for health insurance and listed his occupation as "Fighter." He said the premium he was quoted was more than $500 a month.
And before that, an overconfident Stevenson thought he simply wouldn't need coverage and could avoid injury.
Stevenson now is working with a new accountant who's going to help him set up a corporation. He can use it to gain easier access to health insurance. He'll also consult with his manager on whether surgery is necessary.
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