Hall of Fame Health launched to help former NFL players

Hall of Fame Health, a nationwide effort to offer services to any former NFL player or team employee and their families, announced its partnership Tuesday with 12 medical care providers.

The program will attempt to make everything from treatment to insurance plans to advice available to thousands of people who have spent time in the league.

“What guys are just asking for is can’t we do something comprehensive in health care and and insurance for them and their spouses and kids,” said Jeremy Hogue, the CEO of Hall of Fame Health.

Hogue estimates 80% of the league’s nearly 20,000 former players are not covered under employer-sponsored medical plans and must shop for insurance coverage each year during the national open-enrollment period, which this year begins Nov. 1.

“For a lot of those guys, doctors and health care came to them when they were playing, and all of a sudden when they were done — and most of them are done in their late 20s and early 30s — they don’t have that resource anymore. Especially if they move back home from the city where they were playing.

“We’re trying to put some things together with our great partners on a national scale to help get insurance, help get care, and help get them information. Whether someone played 20 years or 20 minutes on a practice squad in training camp, if you touched the game we want to help those guys and their spouses and kids.”

Hall of Fame Health has lined up a dozen providers:

Andrews Institute (performance training and orthopedic services) provider in Gulf Breeze, Florida; Aultman Health (hospitals) in Stark County, Ohio, where the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton is located; Baylor Scott & White Health (largest not-for-profit health care system in Texas); Emory Healthcare (Emory University Hospital and 10 other hospitals in the Atlanta area); HCA Houston Healthcare (network of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, free-standing emergency centers and diagnostic imaging facilities); Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (orthopedic facility in Illinois and Indiana); OrthoLoneStar (largest independent orthopedic group in Texas); Tampa (Florida) General Hospital; UCSF Health (San Francisco); Vanderbilt Health (Tennessee); HonorHealth (Phoenix); and Providence Saint John’s Health Center (Santa Monica, California).

Hogue is confident there will be such partners, along with companies that can help former NFL members in innovative new business ventures; partnering with market leaders in go-to-market strategies; coordinating game-changing research; and raising funds for those in need of financial assistance or services.

“We are fortunate the game of football has a lot of cachet in this country,” Hogue said, “and a lot of people who want to be associated with it. There are a lot of different partners we are speaking with, including some ground-breaking companies doing things around digital health and drug discovery and things we think we can be a part of.”

Hall of Fame Health is part of a long-term plan to offer a variety of programs to help improve the lives of people who have been part of the sport.

“When we talk about ‘honoring the heroes of the game,’ it’s more than documenting their accomplishments on the field. It’s about caring about them off the field as well,” said David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “And that care is not limited to members of the Hall of Fame; it’s for everyone associated with the great game of football. Hall of Fame Health and these network partners will improve quality of life by providing world-class health care to the thousands of men and women who have been associated with the National Football League and its 32 clubs.”

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