NBA Players Unites Fund For Association's Retirees

By mdkg1116

Oct 07, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

The players of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) made an announcement that its player representatives have unanimously voted to fund health insurance for all retired NBA players with at least three years in the league, Wednesday.

The program that they initiated was first of its kind among North American professional sports. It identifies and focuses on the health and welfare of its current, retired and future members of the NBPA. This is to ensure that the rights of NBA players are protected and that every conceivable measure is taken to assist them in maximizing their opportunities and achieving their goals, both on and off the court. 

"The game has never before been more popular, and all the players in our league today recognize that we're only in this position because of the hard work and dedication of the men who came before us," said Chris Paul, NBPA President and nine-time All-Star. According to the president, it is important that they have to take care of the entire NBA family and he is proud of his fellow players for taking into this step of concern to ensure the health and well-being of our predecessors.

With the solid and uncontested vote took place during the NBPA Summer Meeting in New York on June 26, their votes look forward to a beneficial end of the players, established a multi-faceted health insurance program through UnitedHealthcare, the country's leading health benefits provider. The current proposal includes:

  • Retired players with between three and six years of NBA service time but who are not yet eligible for Medicare would be offered a plan that includes medical, hospital and prescription drug coverage with modest out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and co-pays;
  • Those with between seven and nine years of service would be offered the same coverage with even lower out-of-pocket costs;

Retired players with at least 10 years of service would be offered the same coverage as the seven-to-nine year players, and would include coverage for their entire family;

  • Retired players with three-nine years of service who are eligible for Medicare would be offered a $0 deductible and $0 co-pay plan along with a low-cost prescription drug plan; those with 10+ years of service to receive this coverage for themselves and their spouse.

Most of the players career only last over four years. This emphasized the need of a long term plan for all aspects of life of the players, most especially their health. Michele Roberts, the Executive Director of the NBPA for about two years ago and her new executive team have instituted a cardiac screening program for retired players and other programs created to prepare current players for life after basketball and provide opportunities for retired players.

"I couldn't be more proud of Chris, our Executive Committee and our entire membership," said Roberts.  In addition Roberts emphasized that providing health care security for players who came before them has been for the players' mind for the past year and they worked closely with it to make it happen.

Roberts added that they are thrilled to partner with UnitedHealthcare on their initiative.  He said they had many choices, but none can match UnitedHealthcare's flexibility, experience, clinical expertise, and robust tools and technologies.

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is the union for current professional basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

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