As you are all aware, participation in Tournaments and Challenge games outside of Canada requires sanction from the relevant Counties.
CGAA sanction will now be contingent on the purchase of Medical Travel Insurance for all Clubs participating in out of Country competitions, more specifically where players are participating in Gaelic games outside of Canada.
Why Do I Need Medical Travel Insurance
The costs of Out of Canada medical coverage and hospitalization can be crippling, obtaining Medical Travel Insurance prior to leaving Canada takes away the risk that you will have to pay the bill if you get sick and need treatment or have to spend any time in a hospital while away from home. Medical Travel Insurance takes care of the expenses related to sudden, emergency illness or injury and helps protect your financial security by covering the costs you might encounter if you need urgent medical assistance when you’re abroad.
In August 2011, Fermanagh footballer Mark McGovern and his family were left facing medical bills of over $1m after Mark sustained a serious head injury while participating in a Gaelic Football game in San Francisco. Mark had purchased Medical Travel Insurance prior to arriving in the United States, however, the policy did not provide coverage for participation in contact sports, consequently, coverage was denied by the Insurance Company
At the time of Mark McGovern’s injury the Director General of the GAA Paraic Duffy said "We all have to take responsibility", "We can't let this happen again." Mr Duffy added: "What we hope to achieve is that in future any player leaving Ireland and going to play Gaelic Games in the United States as Mark did, will be covered by insurance from the GAA in Ireland." The decision to extend the GAA's insurance coverage was "a direct result of Mark McGovern's catastrophic injury."
CGAA Concurs with the Director General
The CGAA concurs with the Director General's advisory and opinion, and the CGAA on behalf of its player/participants have sourced and secured Medical Travel Insurance.
CGAA Medical Travel Insurance
The CGAA takes the general welfare of its players very seriously, and in order to protect its players to the fullest, the CGAA now provides access to Medical Travel Insurance coverage for all players who travel outside of Canada intending to participate in Gaelic Games, (Tournaments or Challenge Games)
If you're Club is planning on travelling out of Canada to participate in a Tournament or Challenge Game, it is the Clubs responsibility to make sure that the Club's players participating in Gaelic Games outside of Canada, purchase the CGAA Medical Travel Insurance. It gives the players a simple and affordable way to protect against the cost of unexpected emergency medical expenses that may occur during their trip.
Provincial Health Plans
Leaving Canada, once you cross the border, if you get injured in the US or anywhere else abroad, you may not be covered by your Province’s Health Plan, or Provincial coverage may be limited. In the event of a claim, you may have to pay for any treatment and related healthcare costs yourself.
Providers of Medical Travel Insurance
There are many providers of Medical Travel Insurance, read the fine print, most do offer Incidental Insurance Coverage, but do not provide coverage for participation in a contact sport.
Incidental Insurance Coverage
Incidental Insurance does not provide coverage for participation in a particular event or organized activity, Incidental Coverage would typically provide cover for innocent bystanders or spectators harmed or injured while attending an organized event but not participating in the actual event, given the nature of our sport (Gaelic Games being a contact sport) if a player were to purchase Incidental Coverage and then participate in a contact sport or organized event, the player would voluntarily assume the risk by virtue of his/her participation.
CGAA Medical Travel Insurance Coverage
The CGAA Medical Travel Insurance covers up to $2M million per person in the event of an unforeseen, unexpected medical emergency, illness or injury during the trip, and, the CGAA Medical Travel Insurance Coverage is automatically extended to players participating in Gaelic Games.
CGAA Medical Travel Insurance Premium
The cost of the CGAA Medical Travel Insurance is $4.00 per day, per person, days are inclusive of the date of departure from Canada and the date of return to Canada.
Sanction of Tournaments and Challenge Games.
Effective immediately, sanction of Tournaments and Challenge Games outside of Canada by the CGAA, will be contingent on the purchase of the CGAA's Medical Travel Insurance, or alternative Medical Travel Insurance deemed appropriate, coverage must extend to the playing and participation in Gaelic Games.
For your easy reference please find attached:
1. Medical Travel Insurance Policy
2. Out of County Challenge Game Application
3. Out of County Tournament Application
4. Challenge Game Enrolment Form
5. Tournament Enrolment Form.
Wishing you all every success in your travels to the various Gaelic Games, Tournaments and events outside of Canada in 2016.
Sean O' Floinn
Secretary of the Canadian Gaelic Athletic Association
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