Athletic Insurance

Explanation of Current Athletic Insurance Coverage

Currently Yavapai Colleges' insurance for athletic injuries is a secondary policy. That means that it acts as a backup to an athletes' insurance, if they have it. For example if there was an injury that incurred 1000.00 dollars worth of medical bills, these bills would be submitted to the athletes' insurance first.

Any residual balance would then be forwarded to Yavapai Colleges' (YC) insurance, after YC has paid a 250.00 deductible. YCs insurance would then process the claim and pay what they consider usual and customary expenses. If the athlete does not have any insurance then the bill would be submitted to our insurance, after we have paid the 250.00 deductible, and they would determine and pay the usual and customary expenses. After YC's insurance has pain the athlete is responsible for the remainder of the bill.

Things to remember about YCs athletic insurance coverage

  • It does not cover pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions are an injury/illness that has occurred within one year before the student came to Yavapai, which has not been medically cleared by a physician who treated the original injury.
  • The insurance is for athletic injuries and does not cover other medical aliments (colds, flu, asthma, motion sickness, etc.)
  • The insurance company gets to determine what the usual and customary expenses are; seldom do they cover the total billed amount.
  • Those athletes who do not have any insurance typically are left with a larger balance after insurance has paid, than those who have their own insurance and use Yavapai's as a backup.
  • Not all medical treatments are covered, some are considered non-essential, and will not be processed.
  • Each injury requires a 250.00 deductible to be paid, even if it is the same athlete but a new injury.
  • The fiscal responsibility to ensure complete payment resides with the person receiving the treatment, ie. the athlete.
  • Athletes who are not covered by their own insurance and who incur costs related to medical treatment(s) typically have out of pocket expenses after insurance has processed the claim(s).
  • Make sure that any pre-existing condition gets cleared before coming to YC. Athletes are encouraged to stay on their family's insurance plan or to get insurance before coming to Yavapai College.

The role and function of a certified Athletic Trainer at Yavapai College

The American Medical Association recognizes a Certified Athletic Trainer as an Allied Health Care Professional. While the profession of Athletic Training is not as readily recognized as Nurses, or Physical Therapists, it is a growing profession in a variety of settings other than the typical athletic situation.

Athletic Trainers are a unique provider of health care using a multidisciplinary approach to prevent, recognize, evaluate, treat and rehabilitate athletic injuries. As a Certified Athletic

Trainer they have the knowledge and skills of an Emergency Medical Technician, to handle situations ranging from acute trauma care to life threatening conditions. They have the background in exercise science and conditioning to utilize a variety of exercises/activities to strengthen, condition, stretch, train, and improve athletic performance parameters. Their primary focus for this is to prevent injuries or reduce the potential severity of injuries, and to minimize conditions that contribute to injuries.

They are a resource to athletes, coaches, and administrators concerning ergogenic aids, nutrition, exercise, injury prevention and management, risk management and a variety of other health care issues. They have basic nursing skills to provide appropriate wound care, injury triage and management, as well as detection of common illnesses and diseases.

They have medical and orthopedic assessment skills and knowledge of which conditions should be referred to appropriate specialists, the understanding and ability to communicate necessary medical information with various health care professionals. The ATC has many of the same skills and expertise as a Physical Therapist in dealing with the rehabilitation of activity induced injuries, particularly the understanding the demands athletic participation places on various intact and healing tissues of the body. They have education regarding various modalities and their application to aid in the healing process.

They also have an understanding of common pharmaceutical agents and their role in the treatment of injuries and illnesses. They play a critical role in risk management by establishing and ensuring the compliance with appropriate policies and procedures in dealing with medical, legal, and ethical situations of athletic participation with associated medical condition(s).

The ATC works with all the sports that Yavapai College sponsors. This keeps them busy virtually every school holiday, on one or more nights each week, and more than half of the Saturdays each year due to scheduled athletic events. Unlike a specific sport, the ATC has no off season.

Without an ATC at Yavapai College coaches would become responsible for the recognition and management of injuries and illnesses. Risk management issues related to medical conditions would be left up to the coach, athletic director, or other college personnel, ill-trained to deal with such issues as; congenital anomalies, cardiac conditions, return to play; criteria following serious injuries/conditions. Such decisions would be left to medical personnel unfamiliar with peculiarities of intercollegiate athletics.

Currently there is no conference or national requirement regarding any first aid or health care training of coaches or athletic personnel at the Junior College level. In order for injuries to be evaluated and cared for in the absence of an onsite ATC, athletes would have to go off campus resulting in missed classes, practice time and generally would be more time and cost consuming.

Typical rehabilitation and reconditioning treatments would be done at health care facilities around the area at a financial cost to the athlete, the athlete's insurance (if they are covered by insurance), the college, and the college's insurance. Those athletes involved with HMO/PPO plans would need to travel to the nearest facility quite often located in Phoenix, Flagstaff, or Tucson, again compounding the time and effort involved to secure adequate care.

The premiums for YCs athletic insurance and deductibles would go up, due to no ATC and the increased cost of using the general health care system. The responsibility to file insurance claims, process medical bills, coordinate payments between the athlete's insurance and YCs insurance,and manage medical files would be left to the division secretary, adding greatly to the workload of that position.

There would be increases in the amount of time athletes missed participating in practices and games, there would be more athletes getting injured, and there would be an increased incidence in the severity of injuries. Yavapai College would incur more expenses related to athletic insurance, and medical care. Frustration of coaches, athletes, instructors, and administrators would increase due to the conditions described above.

The position of Athletic Trainer at Yavapai College is measurably cost effective and a benefit to the students that participate in athletics at the college, as well as the entire Yavapai Community.