Insurance Policy Change Extends Care for Curtis Williams

Aug. 29, 2001

Mutual of Omaha, the provider of the NCAA's Catastrophic Injury Insurance plan, has agreed to enhance the benefits available to student-athletes covered by the policy. A Private Duty Nursing benefit has been added to the coverage plan.

The new provision provides coverage for a level of skilled nursing care at home that would normally be required in a Hospital or Extended Care Facility. The new provision is retroactive to any student-athlete who was catastrophically injured on or after Aug. 1, 2000.

Washington football player Curtis Williams, who suffered a spinal cord injury on Oct. 28, 2000 at Stanford, will be eligible for the new policy coverage. The change in policy will allow Williams to receive enough in-home care that will not have to be moved to an outside care facility.

The maximum amount payable for Private Duty Nursing and Custodial Care is now set at $250,000 each calendar year. Under the terms of the old policy, only $100,000 was allocated for in-home care.

'I am grateful that Mutual of Omaha, at the urging of the NCAA, was able to work to improve the terms of the Catastrophic Injury Insurance plan, not just for Curtis, but for all student-athletes,' said Washington athletic director Barbara Hedges. 'Everyone wanted to do the right thing in this situation and, ultimately, they did. This will allow Curtis to have the in-home care that he and his family had hoped for.'

Williams currently resides in Fresno, Calif., at the residence of his older brother, David. He plans on returning to Seattle for Washington's season opener against Michigan on Sept. 8.

The Curtis Williams Fund, established by the University to support Williams with his long-term care and to assist with expenses over and above those covered by family, University and NCAA catastrophic injury insurance programs, has raised over $350,000 to date.

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