The NFL signed an agreement to pay premiums for long-term care insurance for retired players, NFL Alumni announced on its website Wednesday.
The agreement, with Transamerica Life Insurance Company, will pay the entire premium for a pre-determined set of benefits for eligible retirees. Transamerica also will offer retirees' spouses the opportunity to purchase a similar policy.
"I'm excited that after years of neglect, the NFL has responded by instituting a well-deserved benefit for retired players," NFL Alumni executive director and president George Martin said. "However, this is only a small fraction of the solutions needed to address retired player issues. I am grateful the NFL made this gesture, yet disappointed the NFLPA was not a part of this agreement."
A group of retired players began petitioning the NFL and the NFL Players Association in October for long-term care benefits, a component of NFL Alumni's Campaign 2011. Martin and other alumni, including Mike Ditka and Mike Haynes, instituted a letter campaign, visits to Congress and public awareness in support of long-term health insurance benefits.
Martin said NFL Alumni will continue to focus its efforts on improving the pension system and reforming aspects of the NFL Disability Plan.