Under NBA rules, every team has to pay for insurance for their top five-paid players, if offered by the league insurance policy issuer, MetLife.
According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the insurance policy kicks in after a 41-game deductible. When that is reached, the team gets back 80 percent of the remaining base salary. Since Rose missed the entire season after May 12 ACL surgery, the Bulls will get $6.561 million back from Rose's $16,402,500 salary. An insurance industry expert confirmed if Rose were to miss all of next season, the team would get back 80 percent of his total salary.
MetLife offers insurance to teams on an annual basis, but the insurance company can put exclusions on certain players or even body parts. If that happens, the team can opt out of the plan and try to find another insurance plan. As Larry Coon's salary cap website, cbafaq.com, notes, Luol Deng was excluded in 2008-09 because of a history of back injuries.
That's also what happened when the New York Knicks signed Amar'e Stoudemire to a $100 million deal in 2010. His well-documented knee problems, which included micro-fracture surgery, were deemed uninsurable.
But despite a widespread belief that Stoudemire's troublesome knees and eyes aren't insured, an insurance industry source confirmed the Knicks were able to find supplemental insurance for those body parts. He would have to miss 41 consecutive games for the Knicks to recoup any salary.
Given his age and lack of injury history before last season, Rose was easily approved by the league plan, giving the Bulls, a first-time payer of the luxury tax, a slight financial relief.