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Jun 11, 2024

Post-Eligibility Insurance Coverage for NCAA Injuries, Explained

Post-Eligibility Insurance Coverage for NCAA Injuries, Explained

Exciting news from the NCAA! The association is rolling out its new Post-Eligibility Insurance Program aimed at giving student-athletes extra coverage after their college sports careers wrap up. If you’re a collegiate athletic trainer, understanding this new sports insurance program is critical. Let’s examine what this means for you and your athletes.

An Overview of the Post-Eligibility Insurance Program

Dramatic photo of top women’s college sprinters crossing a finish line.Starting Aug. 1, 2024, the NCAA’s Post-Eligibility Insurance Program will fill a major gap in coverage for student-athletes once they finish college. This program covers injuries from their time playing for their school and extends that coverage for two years after they graduate or leave. It’s a big deal because it provides support during a critical transition period. The annual premium for this program is projected to cost the NCAA $26 million.

Here are some key features:

  • The program offers up to $90,000 per injury with no deductible.
  • It covers hospital stays, surgeries, prescription drugs, and even ambulance services.
  • There’s up to $25,000 for mental health expenses related to athletic injuries.

And good news—it’s available to all NCAA athletes across Divisions I, II, and III.

Implications for Colleges

In January, 2024, the NCAA hosted a convention in Phoenix. NCAA Director of Insurance Liz Schneckenburger led a panel to discuss the program’s impact. Attendees, including athletic trainers, directors, and commissioners, raised several important questions.

Dave Tomchek, program manager at A-G and former athletic trainer, expressed concerns about the added administrative burden on already overworked athletic trainers, especially in smaller programs outside Division I. Schneckenburger acknowledged the need for ongoing conversations to ensure trainers aren’t overwhelmed.

Carrie Gardner, associate athletic director for Christopher Newport University (D-III), asked about differences in policy operations across NCAA divisions. Schneckenburger reassured that while administrative details might vary, the policy’s core implementation would be straightforward.

Questions also arose about mental health coverage. Gardner inquired how mental health issues would be linked to athletic injuries under the policy. The NCAA clarified that mental health claims must stem from documented athletic injuries to be eligible.

The NCAA released an overview in February to bring more clarity to the new sports insurance policy and how it will affect students and college athletic programs.

Benefits for College Athletes

n injured college football player on crutches watches as his team practices without him.This insurance program is a monumental step forward for student-athletes. It offers vital protection against career-ending injuries, giving them peace of mind as they move into their post-college lives. About 67% of former NCAA Division I athletes reported major injuries in their sports careers, with 50% having chronic injuries, which contribute to joint degeneration and reduced quality of life. This safety net helps prevent financial instability due to sudden medical bills, allowing athletes to focus on their careers and personal growth.

Moreover, this extended coverage makes college athletic programs more appealing to recruits. Athletes are more likely to choose programs that show a strong commitment to their long-term health and well-being. Taking this step helps colleges retain talented athletes who feel secure and supported, ultimately boosting team performance and institutional reputation.

Implementation and Management

Getting the NCAA’s Post-Eligibility Insurance Program up and running at your college involves some planning, but it’s definitely manageable. Here are some tips:

  1. Educate Everyone: Ensure that athletes, coaches, and staff understand the new program. Use the NCAA’s educational materials to help spread the word.
  2. Blend with Existing Policies: Coordinate the new insurance with current student-athlete insurance policies for seamless coverage.
  3. Keep an Eye on Things: Review the program’s performance regularly and gather feedback. Adjust as necessary to keep things running smoothly.
  4. Stay Compliant: Athletic trainers should oversee the program, ensuring it meets NCAA regulations and supporting athletes.

A-G Provides Comprehensive Health Insurance for College Athletes

College athletic trainer reviews sports insurance policy at his work desk and takes notes.Want to learn more about the NCAA’s Post-Eligibility Insurance Program and how it can benefit your student-athletes? Get in touch with our sports insurance specialists for a consultation. A-G offers several insurance solutions for colleges. We can help you lower your premium, simplify your insurance claims process, and cover gaps in your existing NCAA insurance coverage.

We also offer resources and webinars to keep you updated on the latest in athlete insurance programs. Don’t miss out on enhancing your athletes’ well-being and securing your program’s future success.


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