The following email was received from SAG-AFTRA:
The most recent set of benefit changes announced by the SAG-Producers Health Plan have prompted a number of questions from members. To provide an opportunity for the Plans to further explain these changes to interested members, SAG-AFTRA will host a conversation with SAG-Producers Health Plan staff to discuss these and other issues related to the state of health care in our industry and the impact on the Plan and its participants.
The meeting will take place this Monday at SAG-AFTRA Plaza. We will also host a second meeting in December for those who are unable to attend this discussion. Details about the second meeting will be announced in a separate notice.
Please note that the topic of this meeting is only about the current SAG-Producers Health Plan.
When: 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 23
Where: James Cagney Boardroom
5757 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Parking will be validated.
For questions about this event, please email email@example.com or call (323) 549-6459.
This meeting is only open to paid-up SAG-AFTRA members in good standing. Unfortunately, no guests allowed. Parents/guardians of younger performers under 18 years old are welcome. No RSVP necessary. SAG-AFTRA MEMBERS, PLEASE BRING YOUR MEMBERSHIP CARD (paid through Oct. 31, 2015 or April 30, 2016) FOR ADMITTANCE.
Bring your own shovels! And hip boots!
The Ol’ SAG Watchdog
*Photo selected by Watchdog.
For one media response, This from respected reporter Dave McNary:
SAG Health Plan Sets Member Meetings Following Protests!
November 17, 2015 | 06:54PM PT
In an extraordinary move, the SAG-Producers Health Plan has scheduled two meetings about plan changes that have provoked strong negative reactions among those taking early retirement.
SAG-AFTRA members received notification that a Nov. 23 meeting would be held at union headquarters in Los Angeles for the plan staff to “further explain” the changes and other issues related to health care. Another meeting will be held in December.
High-profile national board members Frances Fisher and Patricia Richardson launched a protest last month to the trustees’ decision for the plan — overseen by reps of the performers union and management — to eliminate the self-pay option for health insurance premiums for members who have taken early retirement. That decision, announced in October, will go into effect at the end of the year.
The plan, which covers about 40,000 members and dependents, has asserted that the self-pay option was no longer necessary because of the availability of “high-quality, affordable coverage” through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. Currently, self-pay coverage ranges from $492 to $584 monthly for an individual and $1,348 to $1,596 monthly for an individual plus two dependents.
Zane Lasky, a 40-year member with credits dating back to “The Tony Randall Show,” told Variety that members were given no warning about the change — making it difficult to find alternate coverage by the end of the year. “How this has been handled is unconscionable,” he added.
Fisher noted that hundreds of SAG performers opted for early retirement and accepted less money from their pension plan partly because they were assured they would be able to self-pay for health insurance between the ages of 55-65. Fisher asserted that the high cost of living in California and New York and limits on subsidies have impaired the ability of members to find new insurance.
A spokeswoman for the plan has not responded to requests for comment.
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