There are camps and youth serving organizations that choose not to carry blanket accident insurance for their program participants. They rely on the fact that most of their campers, youth, or students are covered by personal health insurance. Unfortunately the fact is youth injuries during an organization’s sponsored event will result in out of pocket medical expenses for families whether or not they have a personal health insurance policy.
A recent study by the Rand Corporation found that yearly out of pocket expenses for families with health insurance increased from $1620.00 in 1999 to $2820.00 in 2009. An article in Smart Money reports out of pocket medical expenses for a family of four with insurance will increase 9.3% just in 2011. According to a report by Milliman, Inc. medical index projects an average of $3820.00 in out of pocket medical expenses for this year.
When an organization chooses not to carry accident and illness insurance for their activities, they are transferring the cost of medical expenses to the family if their child is injured while in the organization’s care. Doing so is certainly a legitimate option when a camp or youth serving organization is assessing their insurance needs and deciding how their unique risks will be managed. However, American Income Life Special Risk Division encourages you to carefully discuss the options with your board, taking the time to personally calculate how much each family's individual health policies would pay for a $1200.00 accident bill or $200.00 illness. Keep in mind that most personal insurance provides limited benefits for ambulance charges.
Blanket group activity accident and illness plans are an affordable option to provide coverage for the typical accidents and illnesses which occur when serving youth. Most claims paid by American Income Life (AIL) Special Risk easily exceed the cost to participate in camp or a youth program. We have never had a parent who did not appreciate avoiding out of pocket medical expenses. Again, communicating to parents that they are responsible for any medical bills arising out of their child’s participating in your program is a reasonable option. However, take time to understand the costs you are asking them to bear.