Thursday, July 16, 2009

This is a shame

Parents and recruits should make this item a mandatory part of their recruiting questions. And where is the NCAA and Myles Brand on this if the 'mission' of the organization is supposed to be looking out for student-athletes?
College Athletes Stuck With the Bill After Injuries
Kristinq Peterson
New York Times
July 16, 2009

After years of concerns about inadequate health coverage for college athletes, the National Collegiate Athletic Association started requiring universities to make sure their athletes had insurance before competing.

But the association never established clear standards for that coverage when it introduced the rule four years ago, leaving colleges to decide for themselves. While some colleges accept considerable responsibility for medical claims, many others assume almost none, according to a review of public documents from a cross section of universities and interviews with current and former athletes, trainers, administrators and N.C.A.A. officials.

University officials say they go out of their way to inform students about the limits of insurance. Yet the situation has confused and frustrated athletes and their families, some of whom have had to shoulder large and unexpected medical bills.

“I thought I would be covered,” said Erin Knauer, a Colgate University student who piled up $80,000 in medical bills after injuring her back and legs in training for the crew team. Insurance has covered less than a third of the cost because of the way her condition was diagnosed. “You never think you’re going to rack up that much of a bill.”

Other athletes discover their financial problems long after their bodies have healed. An Ohio University football player, temporarily paralyzed during a workout, learned that he still owed $1,800 in unpaid medical bills when he went to buy a car six years after his injury.

Many students, whether athletes or not, have medical insurance through their parents. But these plans often exclude varsity sports injuries, limit out-of-state treatment or do not cover much of the bill. Some colleges buy secondary policies to fill the gaps, although even these plans have holes. And only players hurt badly enough to require extensive care can turn to the N.C.A.A. for coverage. Its catastrophic insurance carries a $75,000 deductible, which will increase to $90,000 next year.

The absence of mandated coverage for athletes has prompted calls for change...
Go here for the remainder.

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