Does Your Child Need Student Accident Insurance?

Allison Beitel is gearing up for her kids to go back to school this week. That means more than hitting the books. The Cheshire resident is always concerned about them getting injured from an accident at school.

“I worry every day,” said Allison Beitel.

Beitel has major medical coverage and doesn’t need anything extra. This week, she and other parents in the district received an email offering Student Accident Insurance, which families can voluntarily purchase.

“Well, I think it’s something to think about. Medical care unfortunately in this country can really bankrupt families, especially, if there’s major issues and people don’t have insurance,” said Beitel.

But it’s not the same coverage that you have with your own healthcare insurance. The student accident insurance doesn’t cover everything and it has policy exclusions which include suicide, treatment of a hernia, any injury resulting from a fight, and sickness, disease or any bacterial infection except one that results from an accidental cut or wound.

The Cheshire plan breaks down this way:

AT SCHOOL ACCIDENT COVERAGE – ANNUAL COST OF $18.00 - This option provides coverage for students for the hours and days when school is in session including when students are attending school-sponsored and supervised activities such as class trips.

DENTAL ACCIDENT COVERAGE – ANNUAL COST OF $11.00 - This option covers dental injuries to sound natural teeth that require treatment within 60 days of a covered accident.

AROUND-THE-CLOCK ACCIDENT COVERAGE – ANNUAL COST OF $93.50 - This option provides coverage around the clock, any place, anytime and anywhere. It becomes effective the day of enrollment and continues until the first day of school the following year.

But do parents really needed to buy it?

First, it’s optional and not required for your child to attend school.

Second, if you get it, it will provide some protection for accidents at school but not full medical coverage.

“Like every other insurance it’s an individual choice and it’s based on your individual needs,” said Gerard O’Sullivan, director of consumer affairs at the Connecticut Insurance Department.

O’Sullivan said many families can opt to go with their own healthcare plans. But if you have a high deductible health plan this could be a way to save money. Sullivan said the state is seeing more of these types of plans offered to families because of the out-of-pocket expenses.

“Read the policy and make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not covered,” said O’Sullivan.

Cheshire school officials said the district has been providing this optional student accident coverage for many years as a service to the parents. They said the district receives no commission, compensation or any other consideration when a parent purchases a policy.

The district also promotes and provides information to parents throughout the year for a variety of products and services including school lunch, student pictures, yearbook and more.

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