Every high school and junior high school student-athlete in Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association member schools will be covered by concussion insurance beginning Aug. 1, 2017.
For years, the WIAA has been at the forefront of addressing the concussion issue. Now the organization that oversees high school sports is taking another step regarding one of the biggest concerns in athletics today.
The WIAA purchased a policy for all of its student-athletes, approximately 80,000 annually, providing them with zero out-of-pocket costs should they suffer a concussion. Wisconsin is the fourth state to provide this coverage for all student-athletes.
“We don’t want a single student-athlete to not be evaluated or treated for a concussion because of the cost,” former Board of Control president Mike Beighley said. “This coverage provides one more level of support for member schools and student-athletes in making school sports as safe an experience as they can be.”
This is another proactive step by the WIAA Board of Control that assures all WIAA high school and junior high student-athletes, who are diagnosed with a sport-related concussion, will be afforded treatment with no out-of-pocket costs.
“The WIAA has a long history of focussing on serving the membership and student-athlete well-being,” current Board president Pam Foegen said. “We believe that offering this insurance represents a win-win, both for our members and the students they serve.”
The insurance is the HeadStrong Concussion Insurance Program developed by Dissinger Reed Insurance. The policy costs $1.50 per athlete. It covers every student-athlete in grades 6-12 while participating in any practice or game sanctioned by the WIAA.
“Our partnership with the WIAA supports the Dissinger Reed mission of providing concussion insurance to as many young athletes as possible,” Dissinger Reed CEO Christian Reed said. “We are thrilled the state of Wisconsin shares this goal and look forward to a successful partnership.”
For any claim, the participant’s insurance would first be billed and then the HeadStrong Insurance would act as secondary insurance and assist with unpaid deductibles or co-pays. The maximum benefit is $25,000 per injury, and there is no deductible per claim.
The membership of the WIAA oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 511 senior high schools and 38 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. It sponsors 27 championship Tournament series for boys and girls in 2016-17.