Facing staggering losses as health care costs skyrocketed, the plan announced last month that it would raise premiums and earnings limits from 1 January. The plan states that some 3,500 participants and 2,800 of their dependents will have to lose coverage due to the changes.
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The health plan stated, “Despite the serious financial challenges the SAG-AFTRA health plan faces, plan trustees are committed to helping many participants maintain their health coverage.” This again comes on the heels of a 50% premium cut for the second quarter of 2020 for active and COBRA participants.
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Michael Estrada, CEO of the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan, said, “However to save the plan we require that production cease and the eligibility changes to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan be painful for many of our participants.” “With this in mind, the plan trustees asked us to develop comprehensive low-premium COBRA relief to keep its high quality coverage at a highly subsidized cost to participants and their families.”
Some participants and their families who will lose coverage earned on October 1, January 1 and April 1, if they have earned at least $ 13,000 – or for those covered under the plan’s special rule based on working days 50 days.
Those who qualify will be able to take advantage of monthly COBRA premiums as low as 12 April or up to nine months if they are losing coverage on 1 April. For these participants, the Plan I COBRA premium is reduced to:
• $ 919 to $ 184 for a single participant.
• $ 1,663 to $ 333 dependent for one participant.
• $ 2,336 to $ 467 for one participant plus two or more dependents
These premiums and eligibility requirements will also apply to current Plan II participants who will lose earned coverage on October 1, January 1 and April 1.
“This relief will help deserving participants maintain their health coverage during this challenging time,” the plan said. “In addition, trustees – especially union trustees – understand that the earnings of some members can vary greatly from year to year, and he stressed that the new single-plan structure included a safety net for those participants Who have extended their careers. As a result, the health plan created an extended career COBRA benefit for participants who hold at least 12 extended career credits and will lose coverage on and after 1 January 2021 due to unstable earnings. “(The Board of Trustees of the Scheme is made up of 20 associations and 20 Producer Trustees.)
Participants and their families will qualify for this new benefit if they have at least $ 20,000 in income covered during the previous base income period and lose coverage on or after January 1.
Those who qualify will be able to take advantage of lower monthly COBRA premiums – otherwise paying only 20% of the applicable amounts – up to 12 months if they have 12-19 extended career credits or up to 18 months if they have 20 Or more Extended Career Credit.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows eligible employees who have lost their jobs to continue health benefits.