How A Writer Qualifies For Health Coverage
Once a writer earns the equivalent of a one hour prime time story and teleplay ($38,302 as of 5/1/2017), in any consecutive four quarter period for providing covered writing services with a Signatory Company, he/she garners a year of medical coverage. There is a one quarter waiting period after the quarter in which a writer reaches the required threshold, and then 12 months of health coverage begins.
How A Writer’s Dependents Qualify
In addition to earning health coverage for him/her self, for a very modest amount ($50 per month, payable quarterly), a writer can also cover his/her spouse and dependents with the exact same health coverage the writer is receiving. There are some restrictions (detailed below. It is worth paying careful attention so that you do not miss out on this generous benefit for you and your family.
Things To Know
It is critically important that you pay your dependent premiums in a timely manner. If you choose to cover your dependents and you fail to make a premium payment by the due date, coverage for your dependents will be terminated. Coverage will be reinstated during the next Open Enrollment period, effective January 1, provided you prepay the premium for the first quarter (Jan 1 to March 31).
The PWGA allows you to pay dependent premiums online, so if you are close to the dependent premium payment deadline you don’t have to worry about whether or not the postal service has gotten your check to the PWGA Administrative Offices on time. To pay your dependent premium look for the ‘QuickPay’ link under ‘Tools’ or click here.
Enrolling Your Dependents
To enroll your dependents, you must submit to the Fund a completed dependent enrollment form, along with your premium payment and all required documentation, generally within 30 days of the date you become eligible. If you do not enroll your dependent within this 30-day period, you will not be able to enroll them until the next Open Enrollment period or you experience a Life Event that qualifies you to Special Enroll your dependents in the Fund as described below.
|TO ENROLL…||YOU’LL NEED…|
|Your spouse||A certified copy of your marriage license/certificate|
|Your child||His/her birth certificate (for newborns, since official birth certificates often are not available within 30 days of a birth, the Fund will accept temporary documentation (such as a copy of an official hospital birth record or a certificate signed by the attending or supervising physician, or midwife) along with your completed Dependent Enrollment Form to add a new child to coverage)|
|Foster child, adopted child, a child placed for adoption with you or a child for whom you’re the legal guardian||A copy of the adoption/release, guardianship or placement documents|
|All of the above||Important: you must provide the Social Security number for each dependent you are enrolling, unless they are not a citizen of the United States. If adding a newborn, please submit the social security number to the Administrative Office once it is received by you.|
Special Enrollment – Life Events
If you decline coverage for your dependents because they have other health insurance coverage, and your dependents then lose that coverage (or if their employer stops contributing toward your dependents’ other health coverage), that is considered to be a Life Event and you have the right to Special Enroll your dependents in the Fund. In order to do so, you must submit a Dependent Enrollment Form to the Administrative Office WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER THE OTHER COVERAGE ENDS (or after the employer stops contributing towards your dependent’s other health coverage), and provide proof of the termination from the other health insurance plan.
If your Life Event is is due to marriage, birth, adoption or legal guardianship your dependent’s coverage will be backdated to the date of the Life Event.
If You Are A Certified Retiree
If you have been deemed a Certified Retiree by the Health Fund and are between the ages of 60 and 64, you are required to pay the dependent premium regardless of the type of coverage you have (retiree or earned). Once you turn 65, the following rules apply: If you are on Earned Coverage – you will be required to pay the dependent premium. If you are on Certified Retiree coverage – you will be exempt from the dependent premium.
If You Choose Not To Cover Your Dependents
Should you decide not to continue coverage for your dependents, please let us know by completing and returning the declination form included with your premium invoice. Please note: By declining dependent coverage you will not be able to reinstate your dependent(s) coverage until the Fund’s annual Open Enrollment period or if a Life Event occurs.
Important: The declining of dependent coverage is not considered a qualifying event for COBRA Continuation Coverage for your dependents.
Paying Dependent Premiums
You may pay premiums for more than one quarter at a time, if you wish. If payments are not received by the due date indicated on your invoice, dependent coverage will be terminated.
Please contact the Eligibility Department at the Fund Office with any questions you have regarding dependent premiums.