For Immediate Release
December 23, 2020
Contact: [email protected]
With Deadline Approaching, SAG-AFTRA Health Plan Will Kick Off New Round of Outreach to Connect Participants to Coverage Multi-Channel Effort Includes New Social Media Content, Email and Phone Outreach
LOS ANGELES -- Entering the final stretch of the open enrollment periods, the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan announced an expanded, multi-channel outreach effort to connect Participants to available benefits and services and help them understand changes to the Health Plan announced in August. To avoid an interruption in coverage, all Participants should enroll by December 31, 2020. However, the final deadline to enroll is January 15, 2021 for Active Participants and the end of February 2021 for Retirees and Senior Performers.
The Plan has launched new educational social media content, along with direct email and phone outreach. Participants with questions can find more information online, call 1-(800) 777-4013 or email [email protected]
The majority of Participants have already signed up for their 2021 coverage due to the Health Plan’s comprehensive outreach efforts over the past several weeks.
“We take seriously our role in providing all Participants with the information they need to access care and get the facts about their benefits,” said SAG-AFTRA Health Plan CEO Michael Estrada. “We know some Participants have questions about changes to the Health Plan. We are committed to clearing up any confusion and helping Participants get the information they need to make their healthcare decisions.”
Years of skyrocketing U.S. healthcare costs, made more urgent by the production shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, threatened the Health Plan’s finances and long-term viability. As a result, the Health Plan was projected to have significant annual deficits and would exhaust its reserve funds by 2024 if further changes were not made. In August, SAG-AFTRA Health Plan announced necessary and proactive changes to protect its long-term sustainability and financial health. Changes centered around cost-saving measures that preserved high-quality healthcare benefits for Participants.
Participants should be aware that:
- Senior Performers and Retirees will continue to receive their primary health coverage through Medicare, as a vast majority now do and have for years. They can also sign up for secondary or supplemental health insurance coverage through a Medicare plan in the Via Benefits exchange. They will have access to a newly created Health Reimbursement Account to help cover qualified out-of-pocket costs. Because of the wide range of more than 100 Medicare supplemental and Medicare Advantage plans that will be made available to these Participants through Via Benefits, many will have the opportunity to secure additional benefits at lower cost than they currently have.
- Spouses of eligible Health Plan Participants will continue to receive primary coverage under the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan if they do not have access to their own employer-sponsored health plan. If spouses are covered by their own employer-sponsored health plan, they will also be eligible for secondary coverage under the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan.
- The SAG-AFTRA Health Plan added a new, reduced premium COBRA safety net, which allows qualifying Participants with extended careers to retain their SAG-AFTRA Health Plan coverage at only 20% of the regular COBRA premium for up to 12-18 months after their current eligibility expires. On top of this, the Plan introduced a temporary reduced cost COBRA premium due to COVID-19 that will give transitional relief to certain participants who have lost coverage.
The SAG-AFTRA Health Plan offers a high-quality benefits package to tens of thousands of eligible media professionals and their dependents around the globe that exceeds most other employer-sponsored health plans.