Act Now for NFL Long Term Care Insurance
If you are over age 50, and have not submitted an application for the NFL LTC (Long Term Care) Insurance Program provided by Transamerica Life Insurance Company, please do so as soon as possible. The window to apply for this benefit will close on August 31, 2011.
I spoke to a Transamerica representative and they told me they do not know if or when there might be an open enrollment period for players that miss this deadline. So do yourself, and more importantly, your family, a big favor, and make every effort to obtain this coverage.
We don’t know what the future holds for us. In the blink of an eye, we could be incapacitated by an accident or ailment. If we don’t have the proper insurance, our family’s financial security could be jeopardized. For those players that are approved for this coverage, it is good to know that they have a policy in place that will assist them with the financial burden of in-home care and out-of-home residential nursing care.
As of August 1, 2011, Transamerica had received a total of 1856 applications from former players. Of those, 1,215 have been approved and 399 declined, for an approval rate of 76%. The NFL projected an approval rate of between 75 – 80%.
It is my understanding that all states, except New York and Vermont, have approved this insurance policy. Transamerica is optimistic that these states will approve it soon. I would assume that, upon approval, the players living in New York and Vermont will be allowed an extension to the August 31, 2011 deadline to apply for this benefit.
After this initial enrollment period, players will apply for Long Term Care Insurance when they turn 50. The NFL and Transamerica expect a much higher acceptance rate for that group—somewhere in the 95% range.
Back on June 27, 2011, I wrote an article about the LTC (Long Term Care) insurance program that addressed some of the misconceptions that were circulating about this new benefit. As I said in my article, the NFL knew that some inactive players would not qualify for this insurance program, but unfortunately many players, for whatever reason, never got that information.
It is important to remember that the eligibility determinations are made by the insurance carrier, Transamerica, and they are based on underwriting standards that are similar to what other insurance companies use when they provide this same type of insurance.
Here are some noteworthy points:
- By including men up to age 75 in the LTC program, the NFL increased the number of former players that would be declined for this coverage. Nonetheless, the NFL wanted to try to make this benefit available to as many as possible.
- The NFL was also aware that many of those declined coverage would be due to a suspected cognitive impairment. If those players are later diagnosed with dementia, Parkinson’s disease and/or ALS, they will be covered by the more generous 88 Plan.
- Moreover, we expect that other disabling ailments will be addressed in the Former Player Life Improvement Plan, previously known as the NFL Player Care Plan, in the future.
- There is also a new Neuro-Cognitive Disability Benefit that covers mild and moderately affected players. Some basic information can be found in the NFL Alumni’s recent CBA FAQs.
If you have not applied for Long-Term Care Insurance, I have provided a phone number below for you to call and get more information. Please distribute this information to every retired player you know. It was estimated that 2,500 players (50 to 75 years of age) would be eligible to apply. That means we have more than 600 former players that have not applied (including New York and Vermont residents).
Here is the number to call: 1-800-260-7512.
You can also visit their website at www.MyNFLLTCi.com.