The Effect of Health Care Reform on Intercollegiate and Professional Sports

There are significant discussions taking place daily around water company coolers specific to health care reform and specifically how it will impact Americans – rich and poor; insured and uninsured.

As an Athletic Trainer, and more specifically as an Athletic Administrator – I dealt with the administration of health care benefits of student-athletes on a variety of athletic budgets from a Division III school (Lenoir-Ryhne College) to a FCS school (Appalachian) to an elite Southeastern Conference school in the NCAA Division I (South Carolina). Further, the NCAA now allows member institutions to cover any and all medical benefits/medical services to student-athletes.

While Congress has not created this law to deal with health care specific to student-athletes, Athletic Administrators will now have to see how this will impact what they are providing as they are faced with the challenge to cover those portions of health care charges not covered by either primary accident insurance, excess accident insurance (purchased by the institution) or managed care programs negotiated by the institutions.

I certainly have enjoyed researching this subject as I prepare to present to the Mountain West Athletic Trainers and Team Physicians at their annual conference meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada May 1st, 2010. My challenge will be to interject my thoughts specific to “The Effect of Health Care Reform on Intercollegiate and Professional Sports”. How will this significant event impact the provision of care by Athletic Administrators, and will this reform increase the responsibility for institutions and professional sports clubs.


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