Insuring Young Athletes

Published: Mar. 19, 2014 at 9:48 PM CDT
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A new study found sports-related injuries are on the rise among teens and young children.  Every year, an estimated 12 million people between the ages of 5 and 22 are injured while playing sports.  2 million end up in the emergency room.

Costs to treat the injuries can be particularly devastating for those without insurance.  That’s why with the March 31

st

deadline

to sign up for the Affordable Care Act health insurance right around the corner, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is urging young athletes and their parents

to become

insured.

“You think it’s not going to happen to me or it’s not going to happen to my kid.  They’re healthy and we’re doing everything right.  But in sports, you just can’t control all the variables.  You get hit wrong, you step wrong,” said physical therapist Seretha Elkins.

Elkins said the most common injuries seen in young Texoma athletes are ankle sprains, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and bone fractures for both boys and girls.

“Sports injuries are prevalent.  Every day we have an injured athlete at least one that comes in the door,” she said.

Certified application counselors at the Community Healthcare Center in Wichita Falls have seen more people rush

in to get insured

.

“We have seen an increase.  As

open enrollment

ends, people are rushing in real quick and our appointments are increasing,” said Stephanie Knisley, a certified application counselor.

Having coverage can make a big difference, especially during an emergency.

“Doctor visits, tests, things that might come up that people may need for health reasons and medication is all part of it.  Preventative care services are offered through the market

on

all plans,” said another certified application counselor Rhea Wineinger.

Even if a child playing sports

is covered

through school insurance, it does not necessarily mean all costs will be covered in the event of a big injury.  Parents are encouraged to check their policies and the extent of the care offered by the school.

The Community Healthcare Center will be holding an insurance sign-up event on Saturday, March 22

nd

at

the Wichita Falls Public Library.  Anyone can walk in without an appointment between 10 a.m.

and

2 p.m.

to

get insurance help and their questions answered.

, Newschannel 6.