Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Health Coverage Realities

The Nikkster shares the unfortunate news regarding SAG's Health Plan:

The Screen Actors Guild’s Pension and Health Plans just informed members that minimum earnings to qualify for health coverage are increasing 2% effective January 1, 2012. Out-of-pocket maximums for individuals and families also are increasing. ...

This points up the continuing direction of health coverage in the Land of the Free: More cost-sharing. More costs. Thinner services.

Health care inflation has continued briskly for decades, and doubled in the last nine years. And although it's come down a bit in the past twelve months --- 5.4% by recent measure -- it shows no sign of abating over time. Everybody sooner or later gets it in the shorts.

Over the past umpteen years, TAG has held New Member education forums where we have outlined the best health care cost-containment strategies people can use with the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan.

Now, however, the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan is facing budgetary issues and the IATSE is holding meetings for members about where the Health Plan will be going over the next contract cycle. (2012-2015).

If you care about your health care costs, and want to make sure your voice is heard when the IA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers sit down to hammer out details regarding your health coverage over the next three years, give us a call or send us an e-mail so that you can have a seat at one of the three up-coming meetings:

Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan Forums

* Sunday, November 13 - 10am to 2pm

IATSE Local 80, 2520 W Olive Ave, Burbank

* Monday, November 14 - 7pm to 9pm

California Ballroom, Four Points Sheraton - LAX

9750 Airport Blvd. 90045

* Tuesday, November 15 - 7pm to 9pm

IATSE Local 80, 2520 W Olive Ave, Burbank

Show up and give input! It's your money, after all. You might as well have a say about where it goes.


Anonymous said...

2%, huh? That's nowhere near the 33% leap in minimum hours that the MPIPHP took. Cry me a river, SAG.

Anonymous said...

2%?!? Oh, the humanity!

Steve Hulett said...

%, huh? That's nowhere near the 33% leap in minimum hours that the MPIPHP took. Cry me a river, SAG.

I've received a number of complaints about the 400 hours needed for health coverage. I've talked to other union reps who have members with issues about the 400 hours.

I understand people's concerns.

Anonymous said...

the online survey is depressing. more bad choices coming...

Anonymous said...

ugh. Agreed. Felt a bit like a trap. :/

Personally, I'd like to know why the cost of health care is rising.

Anonymous said...

Same reason education is. It's not profitable to have healthy, educated Americans. Stupid ones that consume a lot of cheap crap and don't live long pay off better on Wall Street, because when us fat blobs stop consuming and end up in the hospital, the costs are shifted onto the taxpayer. We are too expensive to cure. It's called the 'free' market.

Steve Hulett said...

America's health care system is #1 in expenses. #37 in outcomes.

Wish it were otherwise, but it's not. Sadly.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd like to know why the cost of health care is rising.

The Cleveland Clinic managed to reverse their rising health care costs by making it easy for employees to exercise and eat well and harder for them to smoke, drink sugary sodas and eat junk food. It also placed a heavy emphasis on preventative care.

I doubt IATSE could go that far, though.

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to be flippant; however, I'm wondering when Americans will stop complaining about rising health care costs and start advocating for a national health care system ala EVERY OTHER FIRST WORLD NATION ON EARTH.

Steve Hulett said...

When our corporate masters think that's a good idea.

And cheaper for them.

Anonymous said...

GET A COPY OF THE ACTUAL PAYMENTS YOUR HEALTH PLAN MAKES ON YOUR BEHALF. You will be shocked at where the money actually goes.

I recently filled out a survey about our Health PLAN for upcoming IATSE Contract Negotiations with the movie studios. Asking basically which benefits I would rather give up. Would I rather they screw over big families by charging a child tax, or short change new members.

Like all surveys it skirts the main point. How ridiculous, and needlessly expensive, profit based medical care has become.

My favorite doctor had to close his doors. "Urgent Care" can be the scariest place on earth. Small hospitals have equipment they can't maintain or calibrate, but use anyway, when they should just send people to the big hospital for some tests. THe big hospital has to redo the test anyway.

My local pharmacy that delivers within an hour is going out of business and I am forced to have refrigerated meds shipped from Nevada, BUT they only deliver to the lobby, so if I'm working they could be stolen by the time I get home.
Clearly not focused on the patient's well being, I don't hear IAtSE holding the drug distributor accountable for outrageous pricing and bad service.

THEY/WE should be actively lobbying for logical government regulation of health care. Pro worker instead of pro big pharma / walmart style health care.

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