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NHLPA will cover cost of players’ plain old health insurance premiums

With Aftonbladet reporting that it'd cost Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Allsvenskan $730,000 a month to insure Niklas Kronwall's contract, and NT.se reporting that 1st division team Vita Hasten would be faced with a $500,000-per-month insurance premium on Jonathan Ericsson's contract, it would seem that the vast majority of the Red Wings' players are going to be staying in North America unless this lockout drags on for half a season or more...

But ESPN New York's Kate Strang, via RedWingsFeed, reports that the NHLPA is offering a very differnt kind of contract insurance--with the PA ensuring that the players and their families receive something Americans are arguing about as a right and/or privilege in basic health insurance:

The NHLPA has stepped in to cover the premiums for players during the lockout, a union source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com. The measure was taken after the NHL asked insurers to cancel all coverage for players once the lockout began, according to several reports.

According to the union, the league's request was not a surprising one considering it made a similar one during the past two lockouts in 2004 and 1994. The players' association anticipated it would happen again when the current bargaining agreement expired last Saturday and has since made sure to devise a plan to suit its constituency.

The union will provide coverage to players and their families, including medical and dental, disability insurance, life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and spousal life insurance.

According to a memo obtained by USA Today, the NHLPA advises players on the need to procure additional insurance if one should choose to play overseas. The NHLPA disability insurance does not cover their NHL contract.

"Players are responsible for securing their own disability insurance, either personally or through the team," the memo states, "to cover the value of your NHL SPC."

So that hasn't changed...

Update: Here's the USA Today story, penned by Kevin Allen:

The NHL Players' Association has advised players Tuesday that it will be paying for the cost to restore all of the insurance coverage that the NHL eliminated for its players and their families after the lockout began this weekend.

According to the NHLPA memo, "NHL has instructed the insurers to cancel all insurance coverage, effective September 16, 2012. This includes Medical and Dental coverage for Players and their families, Disability insurance, Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance, and Spousal Life insurance."

The memo stated that all players who have not signed as a free agent in another league or have not retired are eligible for the continuation of coverage if they meet one more of this criteria:

70 or more NHL regular-season days on the active roster in the 2011-12 season
160 or more NHL regular season games played (including games dressed as backup for goalies)

Have an NHL standard players contract (SPC) for the 2012-13 season, are locked out by his NHL team and not playing in another professional league in the 2012-13 season.

In the memo, NHLPA informed players that it had made arrangements to increase career-ending disability benefits to cover the amounts previously provided under the canceled NHL policy.

Depending on the players' age, the disability payout ranges from $75,000 to $370.000.

The memo warns players that the NHLPA disability doesn't cover their NHL contract, which is an important issue for those NHL players going to Europe to play.

"Players are responsible for securing their own disability insurance, either personally or through the team," the memo states, "to cover the value of your NHL SPC

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.