You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

SAG-AFTRA’s David White: Health Plans Moving Closer to Merging

The SAG and AFTRA health plans have moved closer to combining into a single plan, according to SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White.

The plans remain separate more than three years after members of SAG and AFTRA overwhelmingly voted to merge the unions. Merger supporters asserted in the run-up to the vote that the merging would enable the two health plans to become one, making coverage more available to members.

White said in an email sent Friday to national board members that “significant progress” had been made toward that goal.

The plans are currently overseen by representatives of the union and the industry. Members’ earnings are designated for either the SAG plan or the AFTRA plan — depending on which union had jurisdiction over the TV program prior to the merger — in order to determine whether the members meet the minimum earnings thresholds necessary to qualify for coverage.

Currently, there is some combined earnings eligibility for qualification for the SAG plan, announced in 2013. White’s  message did not go into detail.

“Although the detailed process of establishing a combined health plan for all of our participants has been challenging, I am pleased to report that we have made significant progress toward our objective,” White said. “Among other points, we are engaged in discussion with management on the final design of the combined health plan. Based on these discussions, the structure of the new plan will closely resemble the structure of the SAG plan, with at least two levels of benefits (e.g., Plan I and Plan II) providing coverage for both members and their qualified family members.”

He also said, “Eligibility for each tier will depend on the level of a member’s covered earnings (as it does today) and the various alternate routes for eligibility for particular groups or individuals will continue as they currently exist for both the SAG and AFTRA plans.”

Currently, a member has to earn $30,750 in four quarters to qualify for SAG Plan I. SAG Plan II requires $15,100 in covered earnings, or various alternate methods. The AFTRA structure requires $10,000 in covered earnings for individual coverage and $30,000 for a family plan.

“Our goal is to achieve the best mix of available benefits for participants and the long-term financial viability of the new plan,” said White in the email. “Importantly, union and management trustees of both plans recognize the singular importance of this merger and are meeting regularly to finalize the key decisions and finer details of this process.”

White is a member of both plans’ boards of trustees. The plans are legally separate from each other and from the union.

White said additional details on the health plan merger would be announced at the SAG-AFTRA board’s next meeting, which is set for July 11.

News was first reported by THR.com.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • German Cinema Is Diverse, But Is

    German Cinema Is Varied, But Is It Too Risk Averse?

    One of the strengths of German cinema is its diversity, says Simone Baumann, managing director of the national film promotion agency German Films. As well as the three films at Toronto directed by female German helmers, there was also German filmmaker Thomas Heise’s documentary film essay “Heimat Is a Space in Time.” Then there were [...]

  • Female Filmmakers in Germany Make Progress

    Female Filmmakers Surge Forward in Germany, But Still Face Obstacles

    Four feature films by German filmmakers screened at the Toronto Film Festival, and three of them were directed by women – Angela Schanelec’s “I Was at Home, But…,” winner of the Berlinale’s best director prize, Ina Weisse’s “The Audition,” and Katrin Gebbe’s “Pelican Blood,” the latter two both starring Nina Hoss. Germany’s Oscar entry this [...]

  • Bull

    Annie Silverstein's 'Bull' Takes Top Awards, Robert Pattinson Starrer 'The Lighthouse' Wins Jury Prize at Deauville

    Annie Silverstein’s feature debut “Bull” swept three awards at the 45th Deauville American Film Festival, including the Grand Prize, the Revelation Prize for best first film and the Critics’ Prize. “Bull,” a portrait of a rebellious teenage girl from South Texas, world premiered at Cannes’s Un Certain Regard and marks Silverstein’s follow up to her [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    Jennifer Lopez's 'Criminal' Striptease: How 'Hustlers' Landed the Fiona Apple Hit

    Contrary to what you might be expecting, the number of songs by Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo and Cardi B in “Hustlers,” their newly released acting vehicle, adds up to … zero. Meanwhile, the standout music sync in a movie that’s full of them belongs to no less likely a choice than Fiona Apple. The scene in [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu star

    Box Office: 'Hustlers' Dances Toward $32 Million Opening Weekend

    “Hustlers” is eyeing the biggest opening weekend ever for STXFilms, following a Friday domestic ticket haul of $13.1 million from 3,250 theaters. If estimates hold, the stripper saga could take home around $32 million come Sunday, marking the best live-action opening of Jennifer Lopez’s career. “Hustlers” follows a group of former strip club dancers, led [...]

  • Hustlers intimacy coordinator

    Meet the Stripper Consultant Who Gave 'Hustlers' Authenticity, Dignity and Sexual Freedom

    At last week’s Toronto Film Festival premiere of “Hustlers,” an audience of Hollywood heavyweights and Canadian locals applauded as a statuesque woman strutted on stage, rocking six-inch platform heels and a pastel tie-dye bodysuit. This adoration was not for stars Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu or Keke Palmer, nor was it for the film’s acclaimed writer-director [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content