Injuries are common in sports at any level and here at William Jewell College our athletes are no exception. We’ve all had friends with broken arms, sprained ankles and torn ACLs from last week’s game. But how those athletes received medical care was not always the same.
Up until this year, it was largely up to the student to pay for their own healthcare. Athletes could opt-in to a college sponsored insurance plan, but most chose to remain on their parent’s insurance, and every insurance is different. That meant that some injuries did not just result in missed playing time and trips to the doctor –- it meant thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Students have pushed for the college to front mounting medical bills, but budget restrictions meant that was not possible –- until now.
In an Aug. 2nd press release, Jewell and Liberty Hospital announced a new partnership centered on care for student athletes.
In the release, it said that this partnership would provide an “enhanced level of care [that] includes but is not limited to athletic training, strength and conditioning, physical therapy, and care from physicians and orthopedic surgeons.”
The main benefit of this new partnership is that there is now no cost of care for student athletes; there is no out-of-pocket cost for any Cardinal athlete or member of the spirit squad.
“This new insurance policy was necessary because athletes weren’t getting the financial support they deserve for injuries during a Jewell-sponsored athletic events or practice,” said Kaylie Kapplemann, sophomore psychology and non-profit double major and member of the women’s soccer team.
After breaking her leg in a game last year, Kapplemann voiced her concerns to President MacLeod Walls and Tom Eisenhauer, Director of Athletics.
“Jewell had the lowest insurance policy in the conference. Thus, to keep up with our conference and other D2 schools, it was necessary to make an effort to get full coverage for Jewell athletes,” said Kapplemman.
The new insurance policy is a huge relief to athletes who no longer have to worry about paying for care for their injuries.
“It’s nice to know that if I get hurt I’ll have it taken care of with this new partnership – that’s an added bonus” said Nicholas Bradley, senior accounting major and member of the men’s basketball team.
Campus officials also seem excited about the new insurance plan.
“The partnership builds upon strengths of two Liberty institutions, allowing each to focus on its core expertise while ensuring the health and vitality of the students we serve,” MacLeod Walls said in the press release.
Eisenhauer said “ I am confident this partnership allows us to provide support better than we ever have before.”
Students are already starting to see the payoffs of the new policy.
“I think this new policy is excellent and a huge step in the right direction for Jewell athletes,” Kappelmann said. “Already, I’ve noticed a considerable difference, especially in the training room with the number of trainers and staff in there throughout the day to help athletes with whatever they need.”
The new insurance plan is effect for the 2019-2020 school year. No word has been released yet about extending the policy long term.