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Get Your Ducks in A Row for Open Enrollment Season’s Impact on Your Athletic Program

Get Your Ducks in A Row for Open Enrollment Season’s Impact on Your Athletic Program


We’re now officially in autumn, fall sports seasons are in full swing, and Halloween décor is already in stores. It’s also duck season, which I only know because my former college roommate is an avid duck hunter. He lives in Louisiana now and is excited that duck season opened there recently.

I don’t hunt, but I do spend a lot of time throughout the year tracking down best practices in athletic accident insurance. As such, I want to remind you that it’s that time again for open enrollment. Many company enrollments begin in October and open enrollment begins November 1. Since athletes’ families may use this time to adjust their insurance plans, you should prepare for open enrollment’s impact on your athletic department’s excess insurance plan by monitoring changes in your athletes’ primary coverage.

The Importance of Primary Insurance Verification

Relation Insurance and its partners offer primary insurance verification services. Utilizing this service is an effective best practice to maximize the benefits of primary insurance and limit claims exposure to your excess insurance plan. If you do not currently verify primary insurance or are looking to implement a more robust system, contact your broker or insurance carrier to discuss implementation options

You likely already verified coverage and limits in the initial on-boarding process. However, it is important to plan to re-verify coverage at least two additional times each year. The first re-verification should occur sometime between the close of the open enrollment period on December 15 and the start of the spring semester. This process can help you understand open enrollment’s impact on your athletic program and catch changes that are not self-reported by your athletes and their families. Additionally, having a third verification in March/April gives you a robust process for the entire year and can help identify any changes in primary insurance that occurred during the spring, likely due to a qualifying event. Start your planning now to verify coverage after the marketplace open enrollment period ends on December 15, 2019.


Andy Massey is an Athletics Risk Consultant for Relation Insurance. His career in intercollegiate athletics spans three decades, including Director of Athletic Training at Tulane University (LA); head athletic trainer at Appalachian State University (NC), where he also taught in the Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science; and head athletic trainer at Wofford College (SC). Andy now consults with intercollegiate athletic departments across the U.S. and also serves as an ATC Spotter for the NFL. Andy can be reached via email at [email protected] or on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn more about Relation’s insurance solutions and services for Intercollegiate Athletics.