Health Insurance Assistance Program


In 2012 the Whale Foundation was given several substantial donations in memory of Tim Whitney with the intention to promote physical wellness in the boating community. The Tim Whitney Wellness Initiative Committee was formed with the goal of assisting members of the boating community specifically with physical health issues. The committee believes that any person is in a more stable position, medically and financially, if they have an insurance policy. An important part of the Whale Foundation’s mission is to provide a network of support services designed to promote the well being of the Grand Canyon River Guiding Community. Therefore, we introduced the Health Insurance Assistance Program (HIAP) in 2014. The goal of the program is to encourage those without insurance to purchase a policy, and to help those with insurance afford it. It is intended for boatmen who pay for their own health insurance out of their own pocket.

Applicants will be eligible for up to $400 to defray the cost of health insurance. The number and amount of the awards will depend on the number of applications. We have limited funds and therefore the program will be competitive based upon financial need. Some of the awards may be less than $400, some applications may be declined altogether. For those signing up for insurance for the first time, awards may be as great at $750!  It is important to note that an applicant needs to have a current insurance policy to be eligible for this program although there is no guarantee of receiving an award.

Boatmen are encouraged to apply if they meet the following requirements:

• Employed as a guide on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon for at least one full season (60 days). Applicants do not need to be currently working as a guide.
• Proof of current health insurance policy (photocopy of insurance card or bill).
• Applicant does not participate in an employer provided comprehensive health care program that covers all insurance costs nor are they covered by Medicare/Medicaid (AHCCCS).

The applicant’s identity will be confidential and known only to members of the TWWI committee. The committee will rate all applications and determine all awards.

Download the application form, fill it out and mail it to Whale Foundation P.O. Box 855, Flagstaff AZ 86002. Please contact John Napier for further information at 928-774-9440.

If you are planning on purchasing insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, we strongly encourage you to contact an insurance broker to help you get the best policy for your needs.

The Health Insurance Assistance Program is up and running for a third year. Please fill out an application if you meet the requirements. We encourage past recipients to apply once again. Deadline date will be July 1st, 2016. Applicants will receive notification of award decisions by August 1st, 2016.


Health Insurance Assistance Program Application


Read about Tim and his legacy click here