Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ken Davenport - Management Perspective

Ken Davenport runs through the numbers on the various stage union health premium numbers from the perspective of employer contributions then adds this:

If these unbelievably high premiums got all of our employees health insurance on the day they started work and they kept it for a considerable period of time, I might understand where the money was going.

But that's not what happens.

If you're an actor, you do not qualify for health insurance unless you work a minimum of 12 weeks in 6 months or 20 weeks in one year.

Yep, you could have worked for 11 weeks on a Broadway show, and your employer could have paid $1,749 into a health plan for you (almost 40% of the national average) and you can't go to the doctor.

Oh, AND on top of the premiums the employee pays for you, you also have to pay $100 every quarter or an additional $400/year to keep your coverage.

Of course, keep in mind that Davenport IS writing, as I said, from a management interest.

1 comment:

Scott Walters said...

He is EXACTLY right. And what's worse, each of the actors unions -- AEA, SAG, AFTRA -- all count their employment weeks separately. So while you may have worked a total of a good number of weeks, unless you have enough within the specific union you don't get health insurance. Look at the annual report for Actors Equity, with 86% weekly unemployment, 55% annual unemployment, and an average weeks worked of 17 and you start to get the picture: the unemployed are supporting the employed.

Regardless, instead of pushing for more money for the NEA, artists ought to be pushing for universal health coverage. That would help the day-to-day choices available to artists more than anything else the government could do.