Student Well-Being

Ill. High Schools Must Now Provide Insurance for Student-Athletes

By Bryan Toporek — August 05, 2013 1 min read

All high schools in Illinois must purchase catastrophic injury insurance up to $3 million for all student-athletes by January 1, 2014, under a new law signed Sunday by Gov. Pat Quinn.

The new legislation, known as “Rocky’s Law,” was named after Rasul “Rocky” Clark, a former high school running back who became paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury during a football game in 2000. Clark passed away in 2012 after his family ran out of insurance money.

“Rocky Clark was a fighter, and this new law—Rocky’s Law—is a tribute to him and all the years he fought to protect young athletes across our state,” the governor said in a statement. “Rocky is an inspiration to us all and he wanted to ensure other students are educated about playing it safe on the field. I am honored to sign this bill, which should provide more comfort to sports families across Illinois.”

The law requires all public and non-public school districts to provide catastrophic accident insurance coverage with aggregate benefit limits of $3 million or five years (whichever comes first) for student-athletes who sustain accidental injuries while participating in school-sponsored sports. Families will be responsible for the first $50,000 in medical costs, and the schools’ insurance policy will cover the rest.

Officials estimate the cost of the new legislation at no more than $5 per athlete, per season, according to the

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.