At the board phone call tonight, the following was discussed:
Draft motion: That athletes competing for Team USA outside of the United States be required to have insurance that covers emergency medical costs and medical evacuation. The insurance must at a minimum cover $20,000 of emergency medical costs with a deductible no higher than $500, and $100,000 in medical evacuation and repatriation. In addition, the insurance must explicitly cover sporting events. Teams must collect proof of insurance from each athlete, and identify at least one adequate insurance plan for those athletes who are not already covered by their own insurance.
We discussed this motion for a while before ultimately postponing. One of the main concerns was the language. A few key points:
1. IOF does not
require insurance for athletes per the rules of competition in 2017. See my log from last Tuesday.
2. It's a good idea to be insured, especially abroad. Surprise emergency medical expenses are unwelcome. I think many European countries have more reasonable medical systems than the US, but still.
3. OUSA had a cryptic insurance requirement in 2016 and purchased insurance for all its athletes. I don't have information about how they researched or what coverage they obtained, but the total cost was about $8400. I estimate the number of person-days to expect in 2017 at 1300, most of which come from ~20 juniors in Europe for six weeks.
4. I have been able to find quotes which explicitly cover sports for about $1 - $1.50/day. OUSA has a quote posted in the supporting documents
which substantially exceeds the recommended coverage and costs $2.68/day. I think $1500-2000 is a reasonable estimate for the costs to the athletes. This is likely an out of pocket expense, though it may be reduced by some athletes already having coverage.
1. I'm a bit uncomfortable with making this a requirement, though I think I understand the rationale. I'm curious what athletes think of imposing a requirement; I personally have been getting travel insurance when I leave the US for the past several years, though I'm not actually sure if I need to. It's unclear what if any enforcement would exist, though during the discussion, it sounded like competitors would not be allowed to compete without proof of coverage.
2. The scope is a bit unclear to me. Is insurance required for all
international competition representing Team USA? Does this include World Cups? Does Giacomo or GSwede have to obtain or prove insurance for every weekend of travel to a sanctioned international competition? Perhaps Team USA should obtain insurance on its own to cover the athletes rather than imposing a substantial paperwork requirement on the volunteer ESCs and team managers, not to mention the cost to the athletes. OUSA already doesn't provide enough funding to cover entry fees or travel fully; while the marginal financial burden is small compared to the costs of the trips, everything adds up.
3. What is the cost of not
having insurance? Obviously in the US, the potential cost is fiscal oblivion, but I'm not sure I know the answer necessarily in other, sometimes more civilized countries.
Other things discussed:
1. BAOC awarded the ultralong champs, LAOC awarded the relay, Trail-O, and Temp-O champs; I don't really know why the Board has to approve US champs, as I think sanctioning is perfectly capable of making this decisions, at least right now. Also, the number of championship events seems to be multiplying. Alex and the Competition group are working on this.
2. JTESC rules were proposed. As far as I understand, the main motivations of the rules change are (i) ensuring that the JWOC team is composed of members of the US orienteering community (not necessarily residents), and (ii) a restructuring of the JNT/JDT into a athlete development pipeline. I'm a bit sketchy on the details, and I'm not sure the requirement to be on JDT as a condition for being on the JWOC team - as proposed - is the right approach. Action was postponed to the next meeting pending rule change rewrites and clarification, with a deadline of December 5 for public posting.
3. Request for OUSA to provide safety guidelines for club activities.