Yep, that’s right…sticker shock because I just paid my Gymnastics Ontario (GO) fee. Would you believe that after over 10 years of dutifully paying it, I really still had no idea what that fee covered? I guess I just assumed it was the cost of my daughter being a competitive gymnast. When it was only $30, it didn’t seem like all that much, so I let it slide. My bad – I really should have questioned it before I became complacent, because as I have recently learned, in exchange for the membership fee, GO offers us all an amazing benefit. My ignorance has cost me (probably more than I want to think about,) and chances are, some of you have been missing out too. Let’s fix that.
As a Gymnastics Ontario Member, everyone pays a GO fee: Recreation – $30.00 . Invitational athletes – $120.00. Provincial athletes $520.00, which includes the Qualifier fees, National athletes, $575.00 which also includes the Qualifier fees. In exchange for this fee, you know your athlete is eligible to participate in Gymnastics Ontario sanctioned training camps and competitions at the invitational, provincial and national levels. As noted above, for Provincial and National Level athletes, the cost of attending required qualifiers is imbedded in the GO fee that is charged, so it is easy to assume that’s the reason why the fee is charged and why it may appear to be high. What many of us don’t know though, is that this fee also includes Accident Medical Coverage for your athlete.
That’s right! If they get hurt in the gym while training or competing at a GO sanctioned event in Canada, they can claim out of pocket medical expenses associated with the treatment of those injuries. I wish I had known about this sooner! No…Actually, I wish I never had cause to worry about this kind of thing in the first place, but the reality is, if your athlete continues to train, especially at high levels, they may get injured at some point, and it’s good to know there is someone there to help cover the costs of treatment. Physio, chiro, acupuncture, ART, plasma spinning, braces and appliances, massages, ultrasound, alternative therapies, etc…It all adds up. Luckily, I now know GO provides insurance that can help with all of that.
Before you get too excited though, there are a couple of caveats to the coverage you should be aware of:
a) The GO coverage is only applicable in Canada and is secondary to any other health insurance plan you may have, including OHIP and plans offered through work or school.
b) It can be used when other benefits are exhausted or if you do not have benefits through employment or a personal policy.
c) For training and competition outside of Canada, you will still need to ensure that your athlete is covered by comprehensive travel medical insurance, as the GO insurance benefits will not apply.
Highlights of the coverage your athlete may be entitled to in the event of injury are listed below:
* Dental Accident Reimbursement – Up to $10,000.00
* Medical Expense Reimbursement – Up to $15,000.00
* Principal Sum Benefits – Up to $50,000.00
* Accidental Death – $50,000.00
* Fracture Indemnity Benefit – Up to $1,000.00
* Rehabilitation Indemnity Benefit – Up to $3,000.00
* Tuition Fees Reimbursement – Up to $2,000.00
* Emergency Transportation Benefit – Up to $50.00
* Family Transportation Benefit – Up to $2,500.00
* Dentures, Removable Teeth, Hearing Aides, Eyeglass and Contact Lenses – Up to $200.00
Making a claim is fairly simple. Fill out the accident claim form, which is only two pages long and available on the Gymnastics Ontario (GO) website in the Members Section http://www.gymnasticsontario.ca/insurance/ and have the club send an injury report to GO. GO will match the report up with the claim and the adjuster will contact you to discuss the particulars of your individual case and what exactly is covered and by which type of practitioner. Simple as that.
For the claim to be approved, you must notify the insurance company of the incident within 30 days of it occurring and submit your claim form within 90 days of the accident. If you intend to make a claim but have not had expenses yet, you can still submit the claim form indicating receipts are to follow. You must ensure you submit all doctor prescriptions though, (for treatments, appliances, etc.) and all receipts. While there are exceptions depending on the individual case, the majority of legitimate expenses are 100% reimbursed. Amazing!
So there you have it! While I sincerely hope your children remain happy, healthy and unbroken, and that you never have cause to need it, GO does provide athlete Accident Medical Coverage just in case. Tell your friends!