NEW YORK (AP) The National Basketball Players Association's player representatives have voted unanimously to fund health insurance for all retired NBA players with at least three years of service.
''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,'' Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul, the union president, said in a statement Wednesday. ''It's important that we take care of our entire extended NBA family, and I'm proud of my fellow players for taking this unprecedented step to ensure the health and well-being of our predecessors.''
The June 26 vote in New York established a health insurance program through UnitedHealthcare. Under the current proposal, for example, 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.
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''I couldn't be more proud of Chris, our executive committee and our entire membership,'' union executive director Michele Roberts said. ''Providing health care security for players who came before them has been on the players' minds for the past year and they worked closely with us to make it happen.''