State offers concussion insurance for athletes

Madison - Wisconsin is among a handful of states that are covering student athlete concussions with a new insurance policy from the state's regulatory body for all high school sports.

   The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association will have access to concussion insurance free of charge, WUWM-FM reported. The association has purchased its concussion insurance policy, called HeadStrong.

   The policy will cover kids in grades 6 through 12 participating in sports sanctioned by the association. It doesn't include insurance for those playing club sports.

   The policy, offered by a national insurance company, costs the association $1.50 per child, but it's free to all member schools. It's intended to be a secondary insurance, so if a student or family already has insurance, that kicks in first.

   The policy will cover all associated medical costs, such as prescriptions and doctor's visits.

   "I think perhaps the biggest impact might end up being upon what parents may do, or do differently," says Dave Anderson, executive director for the association.

   Anderson said the growing research in the last several years about long-term impacts of concussions might have some parents worried. He said he hopes this new insurance policy will give them peace of mind and keep sports accessible.

   "(We) don't ever want to see concern for a concussion, or concern for receiving treatment, to be a reason that would prevent a youngster or a family from taking part in school sports."

   The association is the fourth state sports organization to offer concussion insurance to its student-athletes.

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