Musicians fight too. Officials from Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, the largest New Yorker in the nation, estimate that roughly one in three musicians will have lost coverage if changes to their plan take effect this month: it will have lost more than 570 of the roughly 1,500 people who were enrolled a year earlier.
“Nothing kept me awake at night and bothered me more than the health issue,” said Adam Krauthamer, president of Local 802 and co-chair of the union’s health fund.
Perhaps the most public and fierce battle for coverage has broken out at the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Health Plan, which insures 33,000 actors, singers, journalists and other media professionals. This plan increased eligibility for those earning $ 25,950 per year from $ 18,040 effective Jan. 1, and increased bonuses in response to deficits that rose to $ 141 million last year and $ 83 this year Million USD were forecast.
Plan officials have estimated that changes they make will exclude 10 percent of participants from reporting. However, a class action lawsuit brought by Ed Asner, a former president of the film actors’ union, and other mostly senior actors and union members alleged that at least 8,000 retirees will also lose some of their coverage. (Many companies have discontinued health insurance for retirees in the past few decades.)
The plan’s new rules are effectively depriving many senior members of their often secondary insurance. An online advocacy campaign features Mark Hamill, Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman and other stars saying they feel cheated by the union.
“So many people feel deprived of our health services along with me,” said 84-year-old Dyan Cannon in a statement from attorneys for the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit.