Concussion insurance offered to IA high school athletes - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Concussion insurance offered to IA high school athletes

Iowa is now joining other states in offering concussion insurance for student athletes. (Source: CNN) Iowa is now joining other states in offering concussion insurance for student athletes. (Source: CNN)

WATERLOO, IA (KWWL/CNN) – You've heard of life insurance and health insurance, but what about coverage specifically targeting concussions?

Such insurance does exist, and it's now available to student athletes in the state of Iowa.

Concussions that occur during athletic events can be dangerous, and treatment can be costly.

"If you have a significant concussion and you need a lot of follow-up and going back and referrals and some therapy and things like that, it could be in the tens of thousands of dollars," said Sandy Byard with the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

That's why coverage from the HeadStrong Concussion Insurance Program is now being offered to Iowa high school athletes.

Byard explained how it works.

"It's zero deductible, zero copay. If you already have private health insurance, it's a secondary plan. So, it would pay for the copay or your deductible if you had one, or if you don't have any insurance at all it pays 100 percent of the coverage," she said.

But there's a catch.

The Iowa Farm Bureau wrote on Facebook that the insurance is for IHSAA-sanctioned sports only, which includes "the boys sports teams and the girls who play on those boys sports teams."

The bureau wrote:

The coverage is for all students (boys and girls) in grades 9 – 12 practicing or playing interscholastic sports sanctioned by the Iowa High School Athletic Association, which includes the boys sports teams (and the girls who play on those boys teams, such as girls who wrestle or play football) and the cheerleaders for those boys sports teams. Girls high school sports teams are sanctioned through the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, which doesn’t have a program at this time.

So, many girls won't be covered by the insurance.

But Byard said the insurance is a positive step when it comes to concussions and their treatment.

"This is definitely a step in the right direction with protecting students and making sure they get the appropriate medical care they need," she said.

Iowa is the 7th state to offer concussion insurance from HeadStrong.

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