Author: Chris Mihin, CBC, Vice President and Managing Principal
Student-athletes bring so much to your campus. There’s nothing more unifying and energizing than your whole campus getting behind their team and cheering them on. It’s one of the things that make the college or university experience so special. With all they give to your campus, are you giving your student-athletes the highest level of support?
One of the most impactful ways to care for your student-athletes is through your student health insurance plan. Student-athletes have a lot to think about and many commitments to juggle, so their health insurance coverage isn’t top of mind. You can bridge the gap with the right coverage for your student-athletes, giving them the tools to care for their mental and physical health.
Addressing the Top Student-Athlete Health Needs
Regardless of their sport or prominence on a local or national scale, there are a few key areas to cover related to athletes’ specific health needs. Those include:
- Blanket accident policy to cover injuries during practice or competition
- On-campus trainers and nutritionists
- In-network sports medicine physicians
- Access to stress management and other mental health resources
In the last five to ten years, mental health and stress management has become more widely recognized as essential to overall health. As more research comes out, it’s evident that student-athletes have unique mental and emotional stresses that dramatically affect their performance in the classroom and on the field.
Expanding Mental Health Access for Student-Athletes
The NCAA Sports Science Institute recently stated that mental health is a critical part of overall athlete health. Student-athletes juggle schoolwork, practice, games and the pressures of being scrutinized by their public performance. This creates a distinctive need to understand and process the expectations of others and themselves, something many student-athletes neglect.
To support your student-athletes, you can increase access to mental health resources through:
- Offering individual and group counseling sessions
- Providing options to access care, such as through phone, telehealth or in-person
- Holding regular mental health screenings along with diet and physical wellness assessments
- Empowering coaches, trainers and fellow student-athletes with tools to identify warning signs and guide individuals to resources
Integrating Care and Educating Student-Athletes
Student Health Insurance Programs (SHIP) tend to be a better option for many, especially out-of-state students. Lower deductibles and premiums, coupled with close-by in-network care, benefit many students. Yet, since this is their first time encountering healthcare and insurance options, students often don’t understand the benefits of selecting a SHIP.
You can help students understand their options with educational portals and dedicated insurance hotlines to answer questions and provide guidance. And, to make this potentially complex system less complex, you can integrate care under your SHIP. Offer a holistic experience with nutritionists, trainers, physical therapists and counselors connected under your campus health center or other wellness hubs. When healthcare providers can access a patient’s entire health record in one place, it makes it that much easier to provide the best care for your student-athletes.
Providing a Seamless Experience with HORAN Campus Health
At HORAN Campus Health, our goal is to ensure your athletic insurance program runs efficiently and effectively, serving your student-athletes year-round. We work with carriers to provide accountability metrics and deliver independent experience and analysis, targeting the best solution for your community. Our goal is to provide a valuable plan for your student-athletes that’s also low-maintenance for your institution.
Let us guide you to the best options for your student-athletes: fill out a simple contact form or get in touch with Chris Mihin, Vice President and Managing Principal, HORAN Campus Health Solutions, at ChrisM@horanassoc.com or 513.702.3707.