In June, the NCAA mandated that all schools that were going to play fall and spring sports had to be responsible for all of their student-athletes and their families when it came to COVID-19 related medical issues. The problem is, those issues are not covered under universities’ typical health insurance for their athletes.
The NCAA has since relaxed this mandate, but that moment sparked something for the Fairly Group in Amarillo and their sister-company, OccuNet.
“To be stuck with maybe a COVID case where maybe an athlete goes into the hospital for a week or ten days or two weeks in ICU, if that were to happen to one of them it could be a million dollars,” said Alex Fairly, CEO of the Fairly group. “So, we went to work to find a way to help these guys get covered on expenses of serious covid cases and that’s where it came from.”
One of the athletic programs they looked to for guidance in coming up with this insurance policy was Fairly’s alma mater, West Texas A&M. That’s when Fairly reached out to WT Athletic Director Michael McBroom.
“There is a way to insure against anything,” said McBroom. “But now you’re talking about insuring against a virus in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s also college athletes. So we started talking and he would come back with questions, ‘What do you think about this? Or that? What are the issues?’ There was just a lot of dialog back and forth and the next thing I know he calls and says, “We have it done.”
With this new insurance policy in place for student-athletes, it provides a little bit of stress relief for universities during these turbulent times.
McBroom explained, “It gives us this peace of mind on the back end, if we were to have an athlete who gets hospitalized then we have a plicy that will cover that for covid-19.”
Below is the press release from the Fairly Group regarding this new insurance policy.