Lewis Co. officials, citing costs, to cease offering student accident insurance after next school year; in 2017-18, parents will have to pay for athletes' coverage

Ledger-Independent, Maysville, June 24, 2016

Student health insurance discussed by BOE

VANCEBURG -- The Lewis County Board of Education agreed to provide accidental health insurance for students for one year.

During a recent special meeting of the board, members discussed the rising cost of providing health insurance for students.

Had the board remained with the same policy for the 2016-2017 school year, it would have cost the district $60,831, according to Director of District Services Nick Adams.

However, Adams provided several options to the board, some of which included a basic plan with a cost of $34,700, an athlete only plan, with a cost of roughly $22,000 or not offering any health insurance.

The board members chose to go with the basic plan at a cost of $34,700, but only for one year.

Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, health insurance will not be offered by the district.

"It's expensive," Adams said. "But, it's a hard recommendation to make, because I can see someone getting hurt and it's probably going to hurt some families financially."

Adams also told the board members that because of state requirements, athletes participating in school sanctioned sports are required to have some form of health insurance.

"If we don't provide the health insurance, our athletes will have to show proof of coverage before they can play," he said.

Bracken County Superintendent Jeff Aulick, who was present at the board meeting, said athletes in his district are required to sign proof of insurance paperwork before they are allowed to participate.

"They have to sign the paperwork before we will give them their equipment," Aulick said.

According to the student athlete handbook on www.khsaa.org, high school athletes in Kentucky are required to have medical insurance up to $25,000 before they are allowed to participate in activities.

The website also says, "it shall be the responsibility of each member school to ensure and certify that each student has insurance coverage throughout the school year."

However, it does not say that school districts are required to provide the insurance.

At the end of the meeting, the board members approved the basic plan, but wanted to make it clear to parents that it would be for only one year.

"I think we can handle $34,000 with the idea that this is our last year offering this," Forman said. "Throughout this year, we will make it a point to notify parents that this will be the last year."

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