clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Russell Okung shares thoughts on players health insurance on social media

New, comments
Tennessee Titans v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Just over a week ago former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Russell Okung authored a Twitter thread on the lack of guaranteed contracts in the NFL compared to other professional sports, and Wednesday he weighed in on another subject that is likely to be of major importance in negotiating the next CBA: health insurance.

Players, obviously, are covered by health insurance while they are under contract to a team, but what happens after their playing days are over? Under the current CBA, qualified NFL players are able to maintain health insurance for up to five years after they retire from the NFL, but five years is hardly a long time for players, many of whom suffer from life long disabilities after their playing days have finished. In any case, here is what Okung had to say on the subject.

Now, not to steal the thunder from Okung’s thread, but let me digress for a moment to show you why this is such an important matter to former players using a tweet from former tight end Arthur Lynch. (Also, keep site rules in mind and avoid discussion about the politicization of this issue that part of his tweet obviously brings up.)

So, how is it that Lynch didn’t qualify for NFL insurance after being cut by the Atlanta Falcons if qualified players have the ability to keep their insurance for up to five years after their playing days are over? The key is the “qualified” qualifier. The short version of a long answer is that Lynch was not qualified under the NFL’s plan, so, while an MLB player gets lifetime health coverage for one day in the major leagues, NFL players can be cut with a broken back and not qualify for health insurance.

In any case, this is just another of the issues that is front and center as the NFL and NFLPA head towards a showdown on the CBA during the coming years.