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League informs agents of player COBRA rights in event of lockout

Another day, another tangible piece of evidence pointing to a March 4 lockout.

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports that the league has sent a letter to all player agents on Thursday regarding the players’ rights to ongoing health insurance coverage in the event of a work stoppage.  The federal COBRA law provides all players with the ability to pay their full premium for up to 18 months.

“I have repeatedly been told by agents and players that you are not getting reliable information on this point, and in recent months, there has in fact been a great deal of misinformation circulated on this subject,” NFL senior V.P. of labor litigation and policy Dennis Curran said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by La Canfora.  “Some of that misinformation has included suggestions that wives of players need to induce labor prematurely to give birth before March 4, that children with serious illnesses will lose their insurance coverage overnight, or other equally inaccurate and inflammatory statements.

“The insurance can be paid for by the player or the NFLPA,” Curran explained. “But even if the current CBA expires, and even if there is a work stoppage, no player is at any risk of losing insurance for himself or his family unless he chooses to let that insurance lapse, or becomes covered under another plan.”

At times, the union has pointed generally to the absence of health insurance as of March 4, often pointing out the availability of COBRA coverage only when pressed.  Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, said last month during a conference call that the monthly premium for Fujita and his family will be $3,000.

The union last week encouraged players to explore the availability of alternative insurance, through devices such as a spouse’s employer or for players under 26 their parents’ coverage.

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22 Responses to “League informs agents of player COBRA rights in event of lockout”
  1. hedphurst says: Feb 4, 2011 10:15 AM

    Wait a minute. You mean NFL players will have the same health insurance options as every other US citizen? Shocking.

  2. pfinnj says: Feb 4, 2011 10:21 AM

    I believe if the players choose COBRA, their monthly check will be written to the league not the insurance company. That’s the way most businesses handle it.

    How ironic.

  3. Davo says: Feb 4, 2011 10:25 AM

    I feel for you Scott, but a lot of American families are in the same situation, only they don’t have a seven figure salary to fund it.

  4. conseannery says: Feb 4, 2011 10:28 AM

    Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, said last month during a conference call that the monthly premium for Fujita and his family will be $3,000.

    Which means jack to Joe Citizen who has been unemployed for the past year and struggling to provide for his family.

    The only thing worse than union thugs is rich, out-of-touch union thugs.

  5. shadowgm1 says: Feb 4, 2011 10:29 AM

    Nice move by the league. I think all the players gold-plated, diamond-encrusted sphincters just tightened a bit. Let’s see how “strong” the entire union remains, despite what “Frankenstein” Mawae says.

  6. awdlmd says: Feb 4, 2011 10:29 AM

    COBRA is prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of people who lose their job but for NFL players it may be a good option. Even so, younger players who were on practice squads or otherwise haven’t had a chance to make much will have difficulty affording it.

  7. vintwok says: Feb 4, 2011 10:32 AM

    Duh
    DSmith is losing the fans faster then Godell is losing them.

  8. jc1958coo says: Feb 4, 2011 10:43 AM

    how many injuries are there going to be after the settlement! guys won’t work out, don’t want to get hurt, if they do they’ll wait till they come back! nice

  9. krow101 says: Feb 4, 2011 10:48 AM

    Good to see the bloodsucking healthcare cartel is socking it to the players. Just remember… the same treatment in Europe and Canada is half the cost we pay here in the US of A.

  10. dchuwo says: Feb 4, 2011 10:52 AM

    This is why the owners are going to come out ahead and get what they want in the end. The owners, generally educated, wealthy businessmen, by nature think ahead and plan for things. Many of the players think only about their next Escalade, house, vacation, etc. The owners know this and are prepared to play what is essentially a game of chicken. The players will crack first.

  11. xtremetoonz says: Feb 4, 2011 10:54 AM

    Wait, so Tebow is going back on his parent’s insurance? I just find that humorous.

  12. skoobyfl says: Feb 4, 2011 11:24 AM

    In case of a major medical event, a multi-millionaire might be able to pay their medical bills cash. Everyone cry for the wealthy & privileged.

  13. TheodoreJr says: Feb 4, 2011 11:29 AM

    $3000/month?!?! Thanks ObamaCare!

  14. buckybadger says: Feb 4, 2011 11:37 AM

    That COBRA premium is no cheaper for the rest of us. Damn thing is a rip off. First you lose your job to cut backs than they tell you if you want insurance that it will be more than you unemployment rate. And some don’t think this is a problem.

  15. radrntn says: Feb 4, 2011 11:52 AM

    $3,000 thats it? What a bargain…….(who needs health care reform)

    Someone should really tell them what they need to do…just go to any ER room, say you don’t have an ID, your name is Juan Lopez, and you live out of your car.

    This way you can let the owners, and all the stupid politicians that are in bed with the insurance company pay for it.

  16. jamie54 says: Feb 4, 2011 11:53 AM

    The fact this is an issue being brought up now indicates how poorly led by the union and the player reps. The union knew about this at least a year ago and should have communicated as such to the team union reps to instruct their teammates and union members what to do prior to leaving at the end of the year. To complain about it now shows how lack of leadership amongst the union and its team reps.

  17. karlpilkington says: Feb 4, 2011 12:32 PM

    Cobra is a rip off, however if you have children they need health insurance. I have 2 children, got laid off and paid Cobra for almost 8 months. It has taken me almost 2 years to get my head above water.

    I dont believe any one is forcing these players to get the insurance and half of them wont because they have to many cars and homes to pay for why would they waste it on their children.

    Live within your means, you have no idea if you are gonna have a job or even wake up the next morning..

  18. joetoronto says: Feb 4, 2011 1:16 PM

    krow101 says: Feb 4, 2011 10:48 AM

    Good to see the bloodsucking healthcare cartel is socking it to the players. Just remember… the same treatment in Europe and Canada is half the cost we pay here in the US of A.
    ********************************************************
    Health care is free here UNLESS you own a substantial business, that’s where the money comes from to fund the plan.

    If you think I like paying 1.95% of my payroll to the health care fund, you’re mistaken.

  19. bucforever says: Feb 4, 2011 1:28 PM

    Question. If there is a lock out ,are the teams required to continue treatment and rehab for players on IR at the end of the season. Are NFL players covered by Worker’s Compensation laws?

  20. FoozieGrooler says: Feb 4, 2011 1:55 PM

    TheodoreJr says: Feb 4, 2011 11:29 AM

    “$3000/month?!?! Thanks ObamaCare!”

    I don’t know about you, but my premiums rose nearly 60% right before he took office, which was probably a pre-emptive strike by the insurance companies knowing that some sort of “reform” was coming.

  21. SpartaChris says: Feb 4, 2011 3:22 PM

    Dear Scott Fujita-

    $3,000/month = $36,000 per year, or roughly 1/2 the cost of a Cadillac Escalade. Do without for a year or two.

    You signed a 3 year, $14 Million contract with $8 Million guaranteed, plus an extra $2 Million in incentives which could be guaranteed.

    Your 2011 pay is $2.4 Million. 2012 is $3.65 Million.

    You made $3 Million in 2010.

    The cost for you to insure your family for 1 year in the event of a lock out is 1.2% of the salary earned for 2010. Shut the hell up.

  22. nekelund says: Feb 4, 2011 3:39 PM

    I have little sympathy for Scott Fujita and the other well-paid players, no matter how poorly they managed their finacnces, complaining that they cannot afford health care. The Union, and ideally the NFL, should be providing resources to young players in the league to teach them the value of putting away a buck or two (or $99,000 or $100,000) in the event of suddenly losing their income, especially given how easily a player can go from star to has-been in no time. It is the guys struggling to stay in the league or on practice squads who have a legit beef.

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