The National Football League and NFL Players Association announced today an agreement to expand benefits provided under the "88 Plan" to include coverage of qualifying players for reimbursement of expenses associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), effective immediately. Since its inception in 2006, the Plan, named after Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey, has provided coverage to former players diagnosed with dementia without the need to demonstrate that the condition was caused by their participation in the NFL.
The ALS benefit will be awarded on the same terms, including qualification without regard to causation, and eligible players will receive the same financial benefits – up to $88,000 per year for institutional care, up to $50,000 for home custodial care plus costs for certain physician services, durable medical equipment, and prescription medication.
"We are pleased to jointly expand this financial resource that will improve the quality of life for suffering former players and alleviate the financial drain imposed on their families by this terrible disease," the NFLPA and NFL said in a statement.
To date, the "88 Plan" has awarded $9.7 million toward the care of 132 former NFL players.