If your child or teenager is going to camp soon, you’re probably don’t want to consider the possibility of injury. Although serious injury is unlikely, it’s still worth thinking about medical coverage for camp ahead of time so you can relax while your son or daughter is away at camp. Keep reading for how to make sure your camper is covered and your family can rest easy.
Does the Camp’s Insurance Cover my Child?
Virtually all camps are required to have insurance. The kind of insurance and level of coverage differs depending on where the camp is located and choices the camp leadership has made. A common offering from some camps is to cover medical expenses that happen during camp activities. Some others will charge a separate fee as part of the camp registration process to offer protection for accidents or medical necessities for camp attendees. Some medical events can be covered and others may not. Given the wide range of possibilities here, it’s important to be proactive and ask for this information ahead of time. Be sure to ask about any exclusions.
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Does Your Family’s Medical Insurance Cover Camp?
Your family’s medical insurance is likely to cover injury or illness at camp, but it’s a bit more complicated sometimes. A specific medical need could be covered, but seeking care could be different than when your camper is at home. Some medical policies have different coverage for “in-network” or “out-of-network” care. A procedure that is covered with your local family doctor could be an entirely different deductible or out of pocket cost at the closest medical facility to the camp’s location. For example, some HMO plans will only fully cover a visit to the emergency room if the child is outside of a normal coverage area or an injury is serious. It’s a good practice to check and see for your specific plan.
Supplemental Insurance for Camp
If your coverage is lacking, you can consider a short-term policy to cover your son or daughter while they are at camp. Some policies, designed specifically for this circumstance, can also cover things like cancellations or unexpected travel expenses. If you do investigate one of these insurance plans, be sure it covers your child for the location of the camp and the specific activities they’ll be participating in at camp. For example, a policy that might work for music camp might not be also work for football camp. Be specific when you contact a prospective insurer to ask about details.
Special Needs and Ongoing Medical Care at Camp
If your child has special needs or requires medical care on a regular basis, check with your medical insurance provider. Care that is covered at home is not necessarily covered while at a camp. If this circumstance describes your family, investigate this question before you sign up for camp.
Investigate What Happens for Minor Injuries
Before camp starts, look into the camp’s procedure for minor medical needs. Is there an infirmary on site? For athletic camps, is there a trainer in attendance? Because minor needs are more likely than life threatening injuries, this is worth checking. Why? If your child gets poison ivy, you’ll want to know if a camp infirmary can just provide some cream or if the camp’s policy is to go straight to the emergency room. This is an extreme example, but ask to put your mind at ease.
After you answer these questions and get some peace of mind about your teenager's safety while at camp, relax and enjoy. Camp is a great experience that shows you're a great parent.
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