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Does Health Insurance Cover Sports Injuries?

sports injuries

Are you an expat who loves playing sports? If so, you’re probably aware that getting involved in any type of sport can do wonders for your mental and physical health – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. With many of the world’s sporting tournaments and games returning to our screens like the Euro 2021 football games and Tokyo Olympic games, many of you will be keen on getting out there and showing a few of your skills with friends and family. 



But hold on a second, as with any sport you participate in, there’s a real risk of injuring yourself which can range from a sprain of your ankle to a broken femur, or worse still a coma. With this in mind, you’ll probably be wondering if your health insurance plan will cover such incidences while playing a sport.

Not sure of the answer? Fret not, as our friends at Pacific Prime are here to offer several considerations surrounding your health insurance plan and what you need to know in case you need to make a claim.


How to avoid a sports injury?

When playing a sport of any kind, there are clear guidelines on what you need to do and prepare before taking part. A couple of things include:

  • Warming up effectively and stretching properly to target the specific muscles that you will use to play the chosen sport.
  • The other point is to wear the correct clothing or kit that will aid and enhance your movements. Let’s also not forget protective gear like gumshields for rugby players and shin pads for the passionate footballers out there. However, even the best of preparations do not rule out the risk of sustaining a sports injury.

Sports injuries can happen without warning and it pays to rest once you feel tired or have endured the sport for long enough. Unless you are a professional who trains frequently, it’s not a good idea to keep on going as your risk of injuring yourself increases over time.


Can age be a concern for you?

For the aging sports junkies out there, the idea of “age is but a number” can be closer to heart, and most will feel the urge to keep on pushing for the sheer joy of playing or competing. But it’s a given, that as we age, we begin to lose function and sometimes control in our movements.

Overuse of muscles can easily mount to tissue damage that goes unknown until the moment it ceases to work properly. The next thing you know is that you are lying in hospital waiting for treatment and suddenly you are informed of the hospital bill, which may not be the final bill. This is where your health insurance plan will come in as we cover in the next section.


Are sports injuries covered by health insurance?

If you are wondering whether sports injuries are covered by health insurance, let’s take a look at a case study. For one unsuspecting rugby player in Beijing, China, an injury during his game left him with medical bills totaling RMB 30,000 (USD $4,643). And since the health insurance coverage only covered a limit of RMB 10,000, the rugby player had to foot the rest of the medical bill out of pocket. This example will surely resonate with many expats around the world who in the past were caught by their limited health insurance woes. This is why it’s imperative to know the ins and outs of your health insurance policy as we will explore below.


Fully understand the terms and conditions of your health insurance policy

Wherever you are around the globe, if you’re buying your health insurance plan, you should carefully compare your options and take time to look for a suitable plan that will also cover sports-related injuries.

More so, you should pay particular attention to what the terms and conditions state. Some of the questions to ask yourself include:

  • Is there a mention of the sport-related activities in the policy I have chosen?
  • What types of sports are covered? Is mine included?
  • Is my sport categorized differently from others? Will there be a difference in premiums to pay?
  • What will happen if I sustain a sport-related injury? Are their benefits to avail when I need treatment?
  • Does the policy sound reasonable and fit my needs?
  • Are there exclusions? What if I have a pre-existing health condition?

These are questions you need to fully consider when securing health insurance. If you are far from getting the answers to the above, then seeking help from an insurance broker or advisor is highly encouraged.


Make sure your coverage suits your needs

First things first, before you say “yes” to any health insurance policy, do your research by making sure the coverage suits your needs. Some expats typically find out the hard way that their policy is much more limited than they assumed to be suitable.

Just like the case study above, it’s easy to be caught out when you haven’t gone over the needs and limits. Of course, plans will vary depending on the type of sport. Some health insurance plans may exclude them completely, while others will accept coverage but charge you a serious premium to ensure coverage.

On top of this, a plan that includes both inpatient and outpatient coverage may increase the value of the premium compared to a plan with just inpatient coverage. However, rehabilitation comes under outpatient coverage and may be necessary for those engaging in sports. So you may want to add outpatient cover for the sake of the right coverage after being hospitalized.


Choose the right limits for your benefits

It’s imperative to ensure that your benefit limits are sufficient in case you need to make a claim. The problem is that most expats do not know the limits which could end up being a guessing game, rather than one that has been adequately assessed. Fortunately, with some due diligence and a raise of a hand for help from a broker like Pacific Prime, you can make sure you are covered for all possible situations relating to sports injuries, and more.



Want to make a start on securing a health insurance plan that covers sports-related injuries and offers the right limits and benefits? Contact our friends at Pacific Prime today for impartial advice and free plan comparison. The global insurance brokerage has teams of experts located globally, which means help is always at hand. Get a free quote now with their free online quotation tool!