footballState Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Flossmoor) celebrated as his proposal that requires schools to offer catastrophic insurance coverage for student athletes passed the Illinois House on Monday.

 Inspired by Rasul “Rocky” Clark, Harris’ proposal ensures that student athletes will not be left without coverage if they sustain injuries that leave them paralyzed while representing their schools in athletics.

“These injuries are rare, but when they do happen it’s devastating for the student and their families,” Harris said. “These students have sacrificed everything for their schools, and they deserve access to health care.”


Harris, a former NFL football player, knows the importance of this legislation. He has worked hard to ensure bipartisan support on this proposal, which did not pass the House the last time it was introduced.

Under the legislation, the minimum policy for a school will cover $3 million in aggregate benefits or five years of coverage, whichever comes first, for injuries that result in medical expenses in excess of $50,000. All schools will have this insurance, except for those who already require athletes to have private insurance. Before this proposal, there was no requirement in Illinois that schools carry insurance for their athletes, though some do voluntarily.

The Illinois High School Association already provides students with this catastrophic insurance for state tournaments. To extend this coverage for the entire season, officials estimate costs for schools to be less than $5 per athlete.

“We cannot put a price on the quality of life for students that suffer from life changing injuries,” said Representative William Davis (D-Homewood), the proposal’s sponsor in the house. “This bill helps to ensure that our children are protected while participating in team activities. We don’t want to discourage students from participating in school sports because of their family’s economic status.”


For more on this story, visit the senator’s website at or Facebook page

Category: Press Releases

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