Ugh, please work something out there. I found it very frustrating that we had to spend so much "because IOF" when no one could show me where the IOF said we had to have it. I absolutely think it's a good idea for everyone involved in OUSA sponsored trips, and understand that maybe it's also a good thing in the eyes of our liability insurance provider (?) but we spent a lot. And at least some of us already have year-round travel insurance, so spending on us is a big waste.
Agreed; there seemed to be a lot of confusion about supposed requirements this year, and spending $8000 on insurance for the teams when they're scrounging for dollars to spend on travel and athlete support is absurd. I've gotten into the habit of buying travel insurance when I go abroad, but at a dollar or less per day, it's hardly onerous. At least the way the agenda item is worded, it appears that OUSA will simply require proof from the athletes of coverage. I can see some wisdom in the insurance - on a junior trip, it could be a disaster if someone without insurance required medical attention. Though this would be more problematic for a European traveling in the US than the other way around, I suspect.
Don't know what the situation in the US (does US health insurance give you any coverage outside the US?), but for organised Australian foot-O teams, we require team members to have insurance but it's their responsibility to take it out. However, for MTBO, we organise insurance (from the team budget, which means effectively the competitors are paying for it in the end), since "normal" travel insurance doesn't cover bike racing and it needed to be done through a specialist broker. You'd want to check the small print on any policy - I've seen discussion before on UK orienteering sites suggesting that a lot of travel insurance policies in the UK don't cover organised sport at all.
Insurance is definitely worth having - some of you will remember the accident my sister was in at Park World Tour in Austria in 2000. I don't know what the total bill would have been for that but I'm guessing that there wouldn't have been much change out of $100,000 (including coming back to Australia first-class at insurance company expense). However, it's only worth doing as an organisation if you can get a better deal as an organisation than individuals can get for themselves.
I'd be interested to know what kind of insurance you can get for $15. Seems like it might be pretty restrictive in terms of any benefits.
Just make sure there aren't exclusions for things like racing, outdoor activities (check what they include in this category), etc in whatever you get quotes for. I seem to recall that was a pretty standard exclusion in the past