August 19, 2013

By Parker Himes

On August 5, Governor Quinn signed into law Public Act 98-0166, requiring all 9th-12th grade schools to provide catastrophic accident insurance coverage for student-athletes competing in IHSA sanctioned athletic events.  Importantly, school districts and non-public schools that require students to be covered under an individual or group policy of accident and health insurance are exempt from these requirements.

The new law spells out the aggregate benefit limits of the mandatory insurance coverage, which are set at $3 million or 5 years, whichever occurs first.  The coverage is necessary for all students who participate in school- sponsored or school-supervised interscholastic athletic events and tournaments sponsored by the IHSA.   The insurance must also provide coverage for direct and uninterrupted travel to and from the athletic event as well as during a temporary stay at the location of an athletic event held away from the student’s school.  The mandatory insurance will cover accidental injury that results in medical expenses in excess of $50,000.

The law also calls for the IHSA to promulgate a plan of coverage necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements.  School districts and non-public schools may meet the requirements by participating in this IHSA group policy.  Those who choose not to participate in the IHSA group plan may obtain necessary coverage from other providers, but must submit to the IHSA, 60 days before the coverage inception, a certificate from the provider stating that the insurance is in compliance with the plan of coverage approved by the IHSA.

If you would like assistance complying with these new mandatory insurance requirements, we urge you to contact an attorney at the Firm so we can help to find a favorable resolution.