Thursday, April 05, 2012

Round Two

The IA's boys and girls have known about this for awhile, but it's now hit the media.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Hollywood studios have agreed to return to the bargaining table on April 12. ...

The sticking point is how to pay for the rapidly rising cost of health coverage and to bolster the IATSE pension fund over the next three years. According to consultant estimates, the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans face a funding shortfall of as much as $500 million over that span for the workers represented in the talks.

The studios have already met with negotiators of individual guilds to discuss demands specific to each union, primarily concerning work rules. The upcoming talks will focus on wage and benefit issues and how to bridge the $500 million health and pension gap. ...

There have been other "sticking points" if memory serves. Sadly, I'm not at liberty to say what they are/were.

What I can say is: When were were deep into the festivities a couple weeks ago, the parties were closer to a deal than they'd been half a week before, but had not reached a deal. At 3:30 on a Monday morning, the labor unions at the table decided to put a pin in the talks and try again later.

April 12 is the later. When there is resolution, we will let you know.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

We're gonna pay. Were all gona pay.

Anonymous said...

Gotta pay for the bush years, including the Iraq war and those tax cuts to send jobs overseas.

Anonymous said...

Is there a good reason why the MPIPHP health plan doesn't cover cancer brain surgery by a top notch brain surgeon?

http://www.giveforward.com/nicholashoppebraincancerbattle

I'm very dismayed that the MPIPHP doesn't cover this.

Anonymous said...

Because their goal is to be a cheap as possible. To give as little, or less than they can. They give the appearance of good service, but what they are counting on is the you are not going to be one of the few who are to enjoy the 'seamless cloak' that our union touts. Therefore, you are to be passed through, knowing that the studios can bypass you in the hiring and go on to the young hot wannabes coming out of the schools that they are financing with equipment and software to employ on their upcoming pictures. Its all an illusion. The illusion of life. Welcome to Getting Fucked 101.

Anonymous said...

What is the point of health insurance if it isn't going to be there for you when you need it most? Steve, is there any way you can petition MPIPHP to consider covering this case out of network? (ie. at a lower percentage coverage, but better than nothing)

If health insurance doesn't cover serious illnesses like cancer, then there's a big problem.

Anonymous said...

If I am reading the Nicholas Hoppe page correctly, the doctor that he chose is not covered by the plan. One presumes that there are neurosurgeons that are covered by MPIPHP.

That said -- please help Nicholas if you can.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone close to Nicholas know if there were good neurosurgeons covered by MPIPHP health insurance? Or is this the case of an expensive cancer neurosurgery that MPIPHP doesn't want to cover?

Steve Hulett said...

St. Joseph's and Cedars are both in-network hospitals. (In the network of Blue Shield.)

Without knowing the particulars of Nicholas's case, I don't know what the issues are. But I'm happy to look into it. The Plan does have an appeal process.

Steven Kaplan said...

Is there a good reason why the MPIPHP health plan doesn't cover cancer brain surgery by a top notch brain surgeon?

Yes, the Top-Notch brain surgeon is not in the Blue Shield network. Go to any out-of-network provider, and your costs will be higher.

We've been in contact with Nick's family and they're preparing a message to present to the membership soon.

Anonymous said...

Steve H. and Steven K., thank you so much for looking into this. Hopefully, MPIPHP will honor their summary plan description to cover the out-of-network surgery at 70% (not as good as the in-network 90%, but still very substantial). ("The Health Plan will continue to pay these [out of network] claims for covered services at the rate of 70% of the 85th percentile of Ingenix or Blue Shield fee schedule." p. 51 of MPIPHP SPD) I was very dismayed when I read on the Nicholas family blog that the brain surgery wasn't covered by MPIPHP. If MPIPHP didn't cover the brain surgery at 70% (of fee schedule), that would be a dismal failure of health insurance, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Keith L. Black is the best neurosurgeon in the world, but the MPI insurance that Nicholas has does not cover his service." (from http://www.giveforward.com/nicholashoppebraincancerbattle)

That was the line that got me very upset. Sounded like the coverage was 0%, which was very discouraging. (Steven K, yes, it does make sense that in-network has 20% more coverage than out-of-network. No surprises there.)

Steve and Steven, thanks for looking into this. And please let them know of how best to approach the appeals process if the MPIPHP doesn't honor their SPD.

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