The Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) will offer the HeadStrong Concussion Insurance program for the 2018-19 school year. The Iowa Farm Bureau, the title sponsor of the association, financially supports the program.
The HeadStrong program provides “first-dollar” insurance coverage for all students (males and females) in grades 9 to 12 who are participating in the practice or play of interscholastic sports that are sanctioned by the IHSAA. Those sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading (non-competition), cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.
The Iowa Farm Bureau is providing the premium cost for every IHSAA participant in the program. Coverage will last for 12 months, beginning Aug. 1, 2018.
The insurance carrier for this policy is Nationwide Life Insurance Company, with K&K Insurance serving as a third-party administrator.
“The IHSAA and the Iowa Farm Bureau believe providing this insurance puts Iowa at the forefront of providing quality care for student-athletes who sustain a concussion in one of our sanctioned sports,” said Alan Beste, IHSAA executive director. “We hope this insurance removes the financial barrier students and their parents or guardians may have when it comes to seeking care for a concussion.”
HeadStrong was developed to protect student-athletes from the high cost of concussion treatment and potential neurological follow-up. It provides student-athletes with no deductible and no co-pay coverage for concussion assessment and treatment. It also serves as a secondary or excess policy to other primary and collectable insurance.
HeadStrong will become the primary payor if no other insurance is available.
The IHSAA is now one of seven state high school athletic associations providing coverage for 100 percent of participants, joining Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming. More information and guides to the program are available at www.iahsaa.org/information/sports-medicine-wellness-info.
The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU), a separate organization, is reviewing information and options for insurance coverage for member schools.
“The IGHSAU has provided free catastrophic coverage for all our schools for all injuries for many years,” the group said in a statement. “We remain committed to the health and safety of all student-athletes. As we evaluate the available options, we will continue to work with our partners to best serve our member schools.”