Michigan Tackling Concussions Head On: Now Adding Insurance

By Harry Kerasidis, MD

The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced another great strategy in the new era of concussion care. First, they implemented XLNTbrain Sport™ for the 2015-2016 season trial with 10,000 athletes and 30 schools using the system, as reported here http://www.xlntbrain.com/xlntbrain-sport-selected-by-michigan-high-school-athletic-association-for-concussion-care-trial-with-10000-student-athletes/.

Now, they are offering a "gap" insurance coverage to help with concussion-related care. According to the report on Mlive.com a few days ago:

"All student-athletes in grades seven through 12 at MHSAA member schools are now eligible to receive the insurance. The policy covers up to $25,000 per claim for student-athletes eligible under MHSAA rules and participating in practices or competitions under the association’s jurisdiction."

According to Jack Roberts, MHSAA Executive Director, this will encourage moms and dads who suspect that their child has a (concussion) injury to seek professional medical care immediately, and not worry high deductibles or co-pays.

“This insurance program is going to pay that (high deductibles, co-pays) and encourage people to get to the doctor quickly. No other state has done that. We’re No. 1.”

Roberts believes Michigan is the first state to offer concussion-care insurance free of charge. Montana is also doing so this year, but factoring the cost into school dues. Membership to the MHSAA is free and it charges no dues. The original story was reported on Aug. 21, http://highschoolsports.mlive.com/news/article/-7274191674160254807/free-mhsaa-concussion-care-insurance-open-to-all-michigan-student-athletes-in-grades-7-12/.

I think the MHSAA is really attempting to pioneer efforts to tackle concussions head on. I believe, and hope, this kind of attention to concussion management is a trend that will catch on everywhere, for everyone.