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NFL exec writes players' agents to clarify insurance issues

The NFL sent a letter to agents, explaining what players will need to do to make sure their health-insurance coverage continues if there is a lockout.

Dennis Curran, NFL senior vice president of labor litigation and policy, wrote to agents Thursday, saying that under the federal law known as COBRA, players can continue existing medical coverage for themselves and their families for up to 18 months.

"One issue that has been the subject of considerable public comment, much of it inaccurate, is the status of health insurance for NFL players and their families in the event the current CBA expires without a new agreement having been reached, and a work stoppage occurs," Curran said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.

Curran's letter included some strongly worded statements clarifying perceived misconceptions that agents and players might have about the labor situation.

"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," Curran said. "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 continued. "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."

The letter was sent one day after an arbitrator denied an NFL Players Association grievance that sought to make teams pay health-insurance premiums for active players after the current labor deal expires next month.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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