Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Whether you are a sports fan or not, it is probable that you’ve heard about Louisville’s Kevin Ware’s injury. It seemed like an innocent play, Ware attempts an acrobatic play and lands on one leg, except the outcome was much different. Ware experienced a compound fracture during the Midwest Regional against Duke University, arguably the most gruesome sports injury to ever be televised.

And after a successful surgery and much support from his teammates, coaches and fans, Ware was able to make it back to Atlanta to the National Championship and experience the Louisville win. But all might not be well and good.

What many people don’t realize is that collegiate players are not guaranteed that all of their medical costs will be covered post injury. An article by ABC News looks into the issues surrounding NCAA healthcare, and how players may be left to pick up the bills after college.

According to Ramogi Huma, president of the National College Players Association, a student-athlete may be initially covered by the NCAA healthcare, but students can later lose their athletic scholarships or if they leave the school they would lose the healthcare insurance.

The article states that Ware’s injury is currently covered and he is not in danger of losing his scholarship due to injury. But other players have not been as lucky.

In 2010, former Rice University player Joseph Agnew sued the NCAA in an anti-trust suit over his one-year renewable scholarship. He claimed that after having surgery on both his shoulder and ankle, his scholarship was not renewed for his senior year. Because of this, he had to cover the rest of the medical costs.

In another case, Kyle Hardrick, former basketball player at the University of Oklahoma, did not have his scholarship renewed after a knee injury and then transferred to a community college. His mother testified at a congressional hearing that she had to pay out-of-pocket after her insurance company didn’t cover her son’s medical care. It was also stated that Oklahoma would not pay additional charges related to the knee injury.

Last year the California State Legislature passed the Student Athlete Bill of Rights. This bill requires universities to cover healthcare premiums and to pay deductibles for any sports-related injury for up to two years after they leave the university. The bill also requires that if a student-athlete were to lose an athletic scholarship because of an injury, the university must offer another scholarship equivalent to the previous one.

With Ware’s injury garnering so much attention, the new hope is that all states will adopt the Student Athlete Bill of Rights and protect all collegiate athletes from rising healthcare costs.