Welcome to Bulletin Board, Local 802’s new blog, intended to contribute news and information relating to issues currently concerning our membership. Bulletin Board will be a space in which we will share information about topics that directly affect us and our careers, from workplace concerns and industry challenges, to legislation, pension, and health care information.
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Qualifying for healthcare is complicated, and figuring out how it’s processed can seem daunting. Who collects information and how is it processed? How does the Fund actually work? Each area of the music industry is a little bit different, but if you work on Broadway, here is what you need to know to find out if you’ve qualified.
How Broadway Musicians Health Fund contributions are processed
Broadway employment is broken into two sets of employers:
1) Producers 2) Theatre Owners
Producer payroll – covers conductors, assoc. conductors and rehearsal musicians
Theatre Owner payroll – covers all Broadway pit musicians (Shubert, Nederlander, Jujamcyn)
The Local 802/League Collective bargaining agreement allows the employers 30 days from the last date of employment to submit their reports and remittances.
Local 802 staff compare theater payroll with reports provided by your in-house contractor, verify payroll accuracy, and submit those reports for data processing and entry. This process is enormous, requiring the management of dozens of payrolls for hundreds of musicians.
How the Fund’s timelines work:
The time between the qualifying period and the benefit period is two months. The Affordable Care Act, which went fully in effect in 2014, required our Fund to shorten the time between the qualifying period and the benefit period to less than 90 days.
COBRA notices, notifications of changes to benefit levels and participant premium invoices are sent 30 days prior to the new benefit period. The benefit Level is noted at the top of the invoice or COBRA notice. If the level changed that is noted as well.
The 30-day period employers have to remit payment to the Fund and the shorter period between the end of the qualifying period and the benefit period puts the Fund on a tight timeline. Occasionally the notices are sent to participants before all the reports are in.
Inside each COBRA notice is a print-out of the member’s credits with a label instructing them where to call within the Local to find out about their missing credits. Musicians with questions, especially if you primarily perform on Broadway, should contact Theatre Payroll Auditor Tara Donach, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you include in your email all the shows you have done for the last month of the qualifying period (December or June), she can pull your records by hand and let you know where you stand.
If a member’s eligibility is affected by the late entry of June/December credits or any other credits, these members are notified by the Fund with a participant premium invoice. If a member has enough credits with late reports to be eligible, that member will be reinstated retroactively to the beginning of the benefit period, and a new invoice will be sent with the new level noted.
Learn more about Local 802 health benefits here.