Insurance is something you really never want to use as it usually means that something has happened. You pay for it year after year and most of the time the premiums increase as costs increase but you never actually put a claim in. Well, that changed this year. This is the fifth football season for my boys here in Catalonia and each year you pay a mandatory insurance fee to play. So what does this insurance cover?
Like most insurance it's something that we paid the last 4 years because it is mandatory. We never used it nor did I look to see what was covered but an injury occurred with my 2nd oldest this past season. He had played a match, came home and the next day he said that his knee felt "funny". He went to physio and they said to rest it a couple weeks. So he sat out for two weeks and went back to training. This first day back physio checked him out and said everything looks good and feels good. He was instructed to start out with some slow laps. On lap one he said right away that something was wrong. The physio said that he should probably go see the doctor in the morning. My son agreed and went to see the doctor in the morning. The doctor asked of course where the injury occurred? My son had said that it happened in a match. He asked, why are you here then? You have insurance through the federation and access to a private clinic and things will happen much quicker than through the public system. He then instructed him to go to the club, get a form signed from them and go to the private clinic.
So that afternoon, he went to the club and got the form indicating he was injured in the game. He went straight to the clinic before it closed and they managed to fit him in. The doctor saw him and said it might be your meniscus but we should schedule an MRI for you. He asked if he could do an MRI in the morning so by tomorrow we can hopefully diagnose you and know our next steps. He went in the morning and by afternoon they said that he had a small meniscus tear and might need surgery. They instructed him that he will have to go see the Federation's doctors so they can plan out his treatment. This was a Wednesday and on Monday was his appointment with the doctors in Barcelona.
They reviewed the MRI and said that he had a small tear in his meniscus. They weren't 100% sure of the damage until they were in there with a scope and he would come the following week for another appointment to go through the procedure. They issued him a card with a bar code and each subsequent visit he would scan his card.
The next visit was the following week, we had to sign all the pre op forms and they explained what was happening, what to expect etc. A team of people were in there and I thought to myself, this is amazing. This process has been really quick, no real waiting for tests etc because I know many times you have to wait a while just for the MRI, especially in a public system like Canada.
The day of the surgery came and they said we should arrive around 12pm. We checked in and signed some other forms and then had to wait in the lobby until somebody came to get us. We were at Hospital Quiron and apparently was one of the best hospitals in Barcelona. Not much later somebody came to get us and bring us downstairs to where the procedure was going to take place.
Again they were explaining exactly what was going to happen and not to worry and everything would be ok. Probably would take one hour and then they would come for us.
We waited in the lobby for a bit of time and then somebody came to get us as he was being transferred to a room for an overnight stay. He had a private room and not too shabby for federation insurance. He had a bedroom and a living room. There was also a pullout double bed, a tv in each room and a very quiet wing of the hospital. Again I thought that this was unbelievable for insurance that was very inexpensive but covered all of the tests, doctor visits, surgery and subsequent follow up visits.
The surgeon came in a couple hours later to speak to us. He was a Swiss surgeon and had said everything went well and that there was a minuscule piece of meniscus and a fluid sac at the back of the knee. He will be seen the next 3 weeks in Barcelona at the Federation Clinic and we will go from there.
By this time son #2 was so tired that after he had some hospital food which he said said wasn't too bad decided that was it for the day and called it a night.
He slept all night and said he felt really good in the morning and said he was ready to play lol. He was released around 2 pm after I had already watched 2 of my other sons play that morning and coincidently the 2nd match was only 10 minutes away from the hospital. So we went to the hospital, picked him up and headed home to Vic.
The next 3 visits were all on Mondays and each time they tested the strength of the knee, did some exercises with him and suggested and explained what to do at home. After the 3rd visit they said he was ready to begin physio and the private clinic by our house. He was given a signed form from the doctor. We proceeded to go to the front desk. The clerk took our form, asked where we lived, looked up the clinic, called them and booked the first assessment appointment for us the next day. Again amazing service I thought and how well they take care of their players, even if it was their job.
The next day he went to the clinic for his assessment and they let him know he had 10 weeks covered of physio from the federation.
During physio he had treatment as well as what he should be doing on his own etc. Once the the treatments were complete they signed off on him and put him back into the system as active. If you are not active in the system then you are ineligible to play. Even if you went the public route and went to a doctor you would be flagged by the federation and still be ineligible. A sound proof way to keep track of their players.
Some will ask how much this insurance was? It was €90,13 for the year from September 1 to June 30. So about €9/month. Not bad if you ask me and I ask you all the question, what are your federations/associations doing to keep your players healthy and on the pitch? You never want to see anyone injured but if they are it is nice to see that you pay for an insurance that covers you 100% and other than the original fee, there are no out of pockets expenses.
Score/Standings, Promotion/Relegation in Youth football in Catalonia and how it works.