Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
When a parent first enrolls their child in a school they may also receive a Student Accident & Health Insurance application. This form needs to be filled out each school year if you plan to obtain this insurance for each child. There are several options available, including a prescription drug discount card, dental accident plan, school time accident plans, inter-scholastic tackle football accident plans and student health care plan.
Each specific plan states what age or grade it covers. For example, the student health care plan covers ages four through twenty-two, while tackle football is for grades nine through twelve only. Full-time accident plans are also available for school employees.
There are high and low options, deductibles and benefit maximums listed. Families are encouraged to enroll for insurance if there is no other coverage for the child. The student health care plan covers injuries and sickness, plus coverage can be for twelve months.
I first learned of accident insurance through school from reading the Field Trip and Medical Care Authorization Form. I have never been comfortable signing these forms, which state the following:
“Parents, Please Note:
Section 35330 of the California Education Code states in part:
All persons making the field trip shall be deemed to have waived all claims against the district of the State of California for injury, accident, illness, or death occurring during or by reason of the field trip or excursion.”
Accident Insurance can be purchased for a minimal daily rate by contacting the school.
I agree to direct my child to cooperate with directions and instructions of the school district personnel in charge of the activity.
Authorization for Medical Care
Should it be necessary for my child to have medical care while participating in this trip. I hereby give the School District personnel permission to use their judgement in obtaining medical care for the child, and I give permission to the Physician selected by the School District personnel to render medical care deemed necessary and appropriate by the Physician. I understand that the School District has no insurance covering such medical or hospital costs incurred by my child, and, therefore, any cost for such treatment shall be my sole responsibility.
Check here if instructions for special medical treatment for the student are on file in the school."
The teacher brings along the bottom half of the permission slips for the trip. If a child does not return one they cannot attend the field trip. In California the school buses do not have seatbelts, another reason I am not comfortable sending my children on these outings.
Prior to the field trip I will go online and find the location and go over where the class is going with my son. This helps so he knows what will take place. We also follow the directions or use a map to see how long the trip is. The teacher allows students to bring games and books for the bus rides. Lots of children also bring lunch, including my son, but school always provides lunch on trips. In the past my son has brought along a disposable camera to take photos, but it all depends on the teacher if it is allowed. It would be nice if teachers went over the trip with the students and prepared them more for the event.
School time accident plans include an additional hour before and after school, while continuously on the School premises, and while participating in or attending school sponsored and directly supervised activities. This plan starts once the application and payment have been received and expires the last day of school. The low option is for $25,000 coverage at a cost of $40 or the high option at $50,000 coverage for a total cost of $49 per school year.
Full-time accident plans are $50,000 and $100,000 at the cost of $170 or $205.00. The dental accident plan is an additional $17 if other plans are purchased, otherwise the cost if $19.00. The first payment for the student health care plan is $105.00 with the cost of $176.00 billed every two months. The option for all plans is that you can see any Doctor of your choice. A service needs to be medically necessary in order to be covered. This plan does not include preventative care or routine care. Medevac benefits are included.
If you utilize Beech Street preferred providers you can decrease your out-of-pocket costs. They can be reached at 1-800-877-1666 or the site at www.beechstreet.com. The pharmacy discount plan is available through www.schoolsaveRx.org or calling (866) 495-9304 and Pharmacist assistance is at 1-800-404-1031.
This is the data I have on hand for the 2006-2007 school year for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). This seems to be the standard insurance plan for schools in the State of California. Enrollment for the 2007-2008 school year begins on July 1, 2007.
Make sure that each school year you fill out a new emergency card. This is so the school can get a hold of you or other family members who can pick up the child during school hours. The school will only release the student to a person listed on the form.
It is also possible that at some point in the school year you may receive a Notice of First Aid that was issued from the nurse. This is if your child was hurt in the class or on school grounds and received any sort of assistance. This form will have the date, name of student, name of school, room number, what the first aid was given for and signature of personnel. The bottom portion would be for the parent to sign and date form to give school record that this was received and if need be further care would be given to the student.
I recall back in the 1970s having a Dentist visit our school and all students having an exam. This might also be true for various grades for an eye exam. Parents can always notify the school in writing that they prefer their child not to be seen at school and will be doing their own exams with personal Physician.
At my son Matthew’s school they have the option for second and third graders to visit the mobile dental clinic for a dental exam that could include x-rays. There is a list of questions to accompany the permission form so that they are aware of all issues like allergies or disabilities.
Parents are then notified of the dental findings and treatment recommendations form. The permission form has the following clause:
“I, the undersigned, do hereby authorize LAUSD to provide health services information from my child’s education/medical record in order to participate in the dental billing option program. Requested information shall be limited to health services documentation. Further, I authorize the release of any health services information provided by the school district to the billing agent and to Medi-Cal/Denti-Cal if applicable to process the claim.”
I did not permit this to take place for my son Matthew at his school. There was no mention of this occurring at my son Nicholas’s school. I have also mentioned at the school meetings that I want to be notified if they do any eye testing. For some students that have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) the nurse might do an assessment for the triennial meeting. This would consist of weight and height and possible eye test. A parent has a form to fill out and can always request this not be done. The nurse could also send home a form to take to Physician for updating medical records.
For parents that have childcare in the home they may want to draft up a form giving permission for a Physician to treat their child if they are not present at the time the child is treated. This is similar to the field trip authorization for medical care. A blank form I have has the following data:
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is authorization for Dr. _____________________, or, __________________________ Hospital to treat, prescribe, admit for surgery, my child, ___________________________ in my absence while he/she is under the coverage provided for my child.
Insurance Carrier ____________
Policy # ___________________
Group # ___________________
Effective Date ______________
This policy is administered through my employer _____________________
SIGNATURE of Legal Guardian or Parent
Here are some resources for insuring children through K-12 schools and college:
Plans and Pricing
Health Lesson Plans
International Student Insurance
TriCare Forms for Military Families
4-H Volunteer Permission Form
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.