taking pension

Receiving my pension

Retired? There’s much to know about what’s changing.

Establishing eligibility: You may move into our new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan / Via Benefits program or qualify for active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan coverage.

New benefits:

Covering family membersretired picture

2021 premium costs

Additional benefit enhancements and cost-sharing changes

Your to-do list — take action!

The Plan defines you as a Retiree if you’re:

  • Age 65 or older, and
  • Receiving your SAG or AFTRA pension benefit.

And you have Senior Performer status if: 

  • You’re a Retiree with at least 20 Retiree Health Credits, or
  • You’re a Retiree and, as of January 1, 2017, you were age 55 or older and had at least 15 qualifying years in the AFTRA Health Plan or at least 15 pension credits in the SAG-Producers Pension Plan, or
  • You’re a Retiree and you meet other requirements as defined in the Plan’s Summary Plan Description.

 


 

Establishing eligibility: You may move into our new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan / Via Benefits program or qualify for active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan coverage

We’re making several changes to the criteria we use to establish eligibility for active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan coverage:

  1. The covered earnings and alternative days thresholds that establish plan eligibility will change.
  2. The types of earnings included in your eligibility evaluation will change.
  3. We’re transitioning Retirees to a calendar-year benefit period.

 

Here's how it works:

Changes to eligibility thresholds for Retirees

We’ll determine your eligibility for Via Benefits or the active Plan by evaluating your covered earnings or alternative days worked from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020.

You’ll qualify for active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan coverage if you meet one of the requirements below:

Covered earnings threshold $25,950
Alternative days threshold 100 days worked under specified contracts

 

 

+ Don’t meet the criteria?

You’ll be eligible to move into our new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan / Via Benefits program during 2021.

 

 

Only sessional earnings will be included in your earnings evaluation.

This new rule phases in for Retirees as follows:

+ If you turned 65 and started your SAG or AFTRA pension before October 1, 2019

Only sessional earnings are included in your earnings evaluation for benefits in 2021 and beyond.

+ If you turned 65 and started your SAG or AFTRA pension from October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020

Sessional and residual earnings are included in your earnings evaluation for 2021 benefits.

Then, for 2022 and beyond, only sessional earnings will be included.

 

Alignment of Retirees to a calendar-year benefit period

In addition to changing the eligibility thresholds, we’re transitioning our Retirees into calendar-year benefit periods. This will allow us to align our plan with Medicare’s annual calendar, making it easier for you to work with Medicare. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 1 to December 15. 
Here’s how the timing for the transition works, based on your current status as a SAG-AFTRA Health Plan participant and your current benefit period. 
 

+ If Medicare currently pays your primary benefits (this applies for most Retirees)

You’ll move into our new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan / Via Benefits program (or you can elect active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan coverage, if you qualify) for the period of January 1 to December 31, 2021.

NOTE: You will continue to receive the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan life insurance benefit.

 

+ If the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan currently pays your primary benefits, and your current benefit period runs from January 1 to December 31, 2020

And if you meet our new covered earnings or alternative days threshold…

You qualify for active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan coverage from January 1 to December 31, 2021.

 

Or if you don’t meet one of the new thresholds…

You can enroll in the new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan / Via Benefits program for January 1 to December 31, 2021 coverage, or elect COBRA continuation coverage.

 

+ If the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan currently pays your primary benefits, and your current benefit period runs out in 2021 (at the end of March, June, or September)

And if you meet our new covered earnings or alternative days threshold…    

You qualify for active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan coverage through December 31, 2021. 

In October 2021, we’ll evaluate your earnings between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021. This will establish your eligibility for coverage starting January 1, 2022. At that point, you’ve completed the transition to calendar-year eligibility.

 

Or if you don’t meet one of the new thresholds…

You can continue your current Plan I coverage until the end of your current benefit period (March, June, or September 2021) at the new plan premiums.

When your current coverage runs out in 2021, you can enroll in the new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan / Via Benefits program for coverage through 2021, or elect COBRA continuation coverage.

In October 2021, we’ll evaluate your earnings from October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021. This will establish your eligibility for coverage starting January 1, 2022. At that point, you’ve completed the transition to calendar-year eligibility.

 

The Plan’s eligibility rules are complex, and the changes are too! If you have questions or need help, contact Via Benefits and discuss what’s best for you with a Via Benefits advisor.


 

New benefit: The Plan’s partnership with Via Benefits

We’re partnering with Via Benefits to provide more choices and personalized support and service to our Retirees. You can shop around and customize your benefits coverage to meet your personal health needs and use of healthcare services. For example:

  • You can select a Medicare Advantage plan, which supplements your Medicare Part A and Part B hospital, doctor / outpatient care, and prescription drug coverage, and may offer extras like SilverSneakers®. 
  • You can shop for a stand-alone Medigap plan, a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, dental insurance, and vision insurance. 

Learn more about Via Benefits, and begin your shopping and enrollment process online at my.viabenefits.com/sagaftrahp, or call (833) 981-1280.

​Personalized support for you. During the coming enrollment period (October to December), you can contact Via Benefits to discuss your options. A personal benefits advisor can help you understand, shop for, compare, and enroll in the right plan(s).
​Also, watch for an introduction to Via Benefits and an enrollment guide in your mail.

 

New benefit for Senior Performers: Health Reimbursement Account to help pay for healthcare expenses

This is a new benefit for Senior Performers. When you enroll in a Via Benefits medical plan, you’re eligible for the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan Senior Performers Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). 

The SAG-AFTRA Health Fund credits money to your Senior Performers HRA. The amount is based on your Retiree Health Credits and whether you enroll yourself only, or yourself and your Medicare-eligible spouse. 

+  Senior Performers with 20 Retiree Health Credits or more

We credit $1,140 per year for you and $1,140 per year for your enrolled Medicare-eligible spouse.
The amounts are prorated ($95 per month) for Senior Performers who retire during 2021.

OR

+ Senior Performers with fewer than 20 Retiree Health Credits

We credit $240 per year for you and $240 per year for your enrolled Medicare-eligible spouse. The amounts are prorated ($20 per month) for Senior Performers who retire during 2021.

 

Using your Senior Performers HRA

Your Senior Performers HRA helps to cover the cost of eligible healthcare expenses for you and your enrolled Medicare-eligible spouse. You can use it to pay your Via Benefits medical plan premiums, Medicare premiums, copayments, deductibles, coinsurance, and other eligible healthcare expenses as long as you have money in your account.  

The federal government does not allow you to contribute to an HRA. However, any unused HRA funds roll over from year to year.


 

New benefit for Senior Performers: Help with paying catastrophic prescription drug expenses

This is a new benefit for Senior Performers. When you enroll in a plan that includes prescription drug benefits with Via Benefits, your plan will cover 95% of prescription drug expenses after you reach the Medicare catastrophic expense amount — and you pay 5%. 

For Senior Performers facing very high prescription drug expenses, their share can be difficult to pay. That’s why the SAG-AFTRA Health Fund will offer a catastrophic prescription drug HRA. Through this arrangement, you (and your enrolled Medicare-eligible spouse) may be reimbursed for your share of catastrophic expenses.

You’ll learn more about this program in a mailing from Via Benefits.


Covering family members

You and your Medicare-eligible spouse are eligible for the new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan / Via Benefits program — and Senior Performers are eligible for the new Health Reimbursement Account. 

Also, Retirees who enroll themselves through a Via Benefits medical plan can cover eligible dependents under age 65 through the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan. If you do, be sure to take note of a few new rules for 2021.


2021 premium costs

If you’re moving into the new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan / Via Benefits program

When shopping for a plan through Via Benefits, you may find low-cost premium options — with $0 premium plans available to many participants. 

Your premium cost will be based on the plan and coverage you choose and whether you cover your Medicare-eligible spouse. You pay your premium directly to the plan you choose.

The cost for Senior Performers to enroll dependents under age 65 in the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan is $250 per month. The premium covers all eligible dependents (one or more), and it’s paid directly to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan. The new premium is effective January 1, 2021.

Note: Premiums can no longer be deducted from your pension benefit.

 

If you qualify for and enroll in the active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan or you’re running out your current coverage later in 2021

The new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan premiums will apply.

Your cost is based on the number of family members you enroll, and you’ll start paying the new premium as of January 1, 2021.


 

Additional benefit enhancements and cost-sharing changes

If you enroll or remain in the active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan, beginning January 1, 2021, you’ll see a few benefit enhancements and changes to coverage and cost-sharing between you and the plan. Get more details.


 

Your to-do list — take action!to do list 23

Our Plan changes will affect different participants at different times. You’ll receive personalized information, including a confirmation of your benefits and any actions required, starting in August.

 

+ Pay close attention if your benefit period runs from January 1 – December 31!

  • Eligible for the new SAG-AFTRA Health Plan / Via Benefits program? Watch for information from Via Benefits in your mail starting in August and a personalized notice from the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan in October. You can begin shopping for benefits on October 1, 2020, and you’ll need to make your enrollment decisions by December 15, 2020.
  • Eligible for active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan coverage? You’ll get enrollment information from the plan in October. You’ll need to enroll in the plan and pay your first premium by January 1, 2021.
  • Enrolling your spouse in the active SAG-AFTRA Health Plan? You’ll need to return your spouse coverage attestation to the plan by January 1, 2021. You’ll receive instructions for completing the process in November. Watch your mail for details.
  • Losing your current coverage? Decide if you want to enroll in COBRA (or contact Via Benefits to explore your other options). Your COBRA offer will note any deadlines. 

+ If your current benefit period runs out in 2021 (March 31, June 30, or September 30):

  • You’ll receive information about your next benefit period about 45 days before your coverage ends. Watch for your mail for details. 

+ How to contact Via Benefits

 via benefit 2

 Medicare-eligible participants

 Participants under age 65

Phone: (833) 981-1280
Web: my.viabenefits.com/sagaftrahp

 Phone: (833) 963-1230
 Web: marketplace.viabenefits.com/sagaftrahp