Sports Injuries Land Many Californians In the ER

Over 300,000 Californian athletes visit the ER annually, which is a rising financial risk for families as high deductible health insurance grows and health coverage shrinks, according to a Sun Life Financial report. More Californians participate in each of five sports – baseball, basketball, softball, soccer, and volleyball – than do residents in any other state. The report reveals the following sobering statistics:
• A household has a 50% chance of having an emergency room injury within five years when a family member participates in football, ice hockey, or soccer.
• Injuries from seven popular sports lead to average ER medical costs of $3,000 to $4,000.
• Football, which has the highest sports injury rate at 8.5%, leads to over 60,000 California ER visits this year, second only to basketball. Soccer is expected to generate over 40,000 California ER visits this year.
• Increasingly popular high deductible health insurance plans have average deductibles of $4,000 for a family deductible and $2,000 for an individual.
• Accident insurance can fill widening gaps in medical insurance coverage. Beginning in 2018, a 40% excise tax will be imposed on the value of health insurance benefits exceeding a certain threshold. The estimated thresholds are $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. Employers are starting to phase out medical coverage that would be subject to the tax.

One doctor, who was interviewed for the survey, reports a disturbing number of people who refuse essential emergency care because of medical costs. He says that agility training can prevent injury by increasing the ability to anticipate an accident. For more information, visit

Last Updated 01/19/2022

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