Los Angeles – The SAG-AFTRA Health Plan will be offering an 80% reduction in COBRA premiums for many participants who will no longer qualify for coverage starting October 1, 2020. Despite the serious financial challenges facing the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan, Plan Trustees are committed to helping as many participants keep their health coverage as is sustainable for the Plan. This comes on the heels of a 50% premium reduction for the second quarter of 2020 for active and COBRA participants then covered.
“Though necessary to save the Plan, we recognize that production shutdown and the changes to the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan eligibility requirements are painful for many of our participants,” said SAG-AFTRA Health Plan CEO Michael Estrada. “With this in mind, the Plan Trustees asked us to develop the broadest reduced-premium COBRA relief possible so participants and their families can keep their high-quality coverage at a highly subsidized cost.”
Some participants and their families who will lose earned coverage October 1, 2020, January 1, 2021 and April 1, 2021 can keep their coverage if they have at least $13,000 in earnings (or 50 days for those covered under the Plan’s special rule based on days of work).
Those who qualify will be able to take advantage of the reduced monthly COBRA premiums for up to 12 months, or nine months if they are losing coverage on April 1, 2021. For these participants, Plan I COBRA premiums are reduced from:
- $919 to $184 for a single participant.
- $1,663 to $333 for a participant plus one dependent.
- $2,336 to $467 for a participant plus two or more dependents
These premiums and eligibility requirements will also apply to current Plan II participants who will be losing earned coverage October 1, 2020, January 1, 2021 and April 1, 2021.
This relief will help qualified participants maintain their health coverage during this challenging time. Additional information is available at sagaftraplans.org/health/2021changes.
In addition, the Trustees – especially the Union Trustees – understand that some members’ earnings can vary greatly from year to year, and they insisted that the new single-plan structure include a safety net for participants who have had extended careers. As a result, the Health Plan created the Extended
Career COBRA benefit for participants who have at least 12 Extended Career Credits and will be losing coverage on and after January 1, 2021 because of volatile earnings.
Participants and their families will qualify for this new benefit if they have at least $20,000 in covered earnings during their last base earnings period and lose coverage on January 1, 2021 or later.
Those who qualify will be able to take advantage of reduced monthly COBRA premiums – paying only 20% of the otherwise applicable amounts – for 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 Credits.
ABOUT THE SAG-AFTRA HEALTH PLAN
The SAG-AFTRA Health Plan provides health care benefits to eligible participants and their dependents. Visit the SAG-AFTRA Health plan online at www.sagaftraplans.org/health.