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Just So You Know – February 2018

OPTIONS & PURCHASES

It’s important to understand how options and purchases affect your clients’ benefits.

When a studio options a script and pays your client an option fee, that fee is not reportable, and no contributions are paid on that option because no hired services were performed. The studio is optioning or holding onto the script for a set period of time as they decide whether or not to produce it. If a contract has multiple options, the first option often will be carved out of the purchase price while subsequent options will not.

A purchase by itself is not a reportable item. When a signatory purchases your client’s script and pays them for it, that purchase price is not reportable because no hired services were performed. No contributions are paid on a purchase.

If, however, the same signatory or studio purchases your client’s script and hires your client (the exact same writer or writers from whom the script was purchased) to do a rewrite or polish of the script, the hired services trigger the purchase to become reportable up to the theatrical motion picture ceiling.

If the script purchase occurs before any writing services are performed, it becomes reportable when the hired services occur.

If the purchase occurs after writing services have commenced, the purchase becomes reportable when the studio pays for the script.

For more information, please contact Employer Compliance at: (818) 846-1015 ext. 603 or email us at: Employercompliance@pwga.org

LIFE EVENTS

Below you will find a list of Life Events. Should one or more of these Life Events occur, your clients will be eligible to special enroll or drop dependent coverage at the time they occur, not just during open enrollment – provided that the PWGA is notified within 30 days of the Life Event.

  • Marriage
  • Birth of a child
  • Adoption, placement of a child for foster care, or legal guardianship of a child
  • Any change to an eligible dependent’s employment status that results in a significant change to benefits, such as the start or end of coverage
  • Divorce or Legal Separation (the Fund must be notified within 60 days of the divorce or Legal Separation date)

Marriage. Birth. Divorce. Adoption. Legal separation. Aside from the joy or sorrow these events may bring, they have consequences for your clients’ PWGA health coverage. More information regarding Life Events can be found on our website (pwga.org) or by calling the Eligibility Department at: 818-846-1015 x189 or by email at: EMailbox@wgaplans.org.

2018 HEALTH PLAN CHANGES THAT AFFECT YOUR CLIENTS

As of January 1, 2018, there are changes to the health plan that may affect your clients. The annual deductible has increased from $300 to $400, and family annual deductible has increased from $900 to $1,200. More significantly, while in-network costs remain the same ($85% of services rendered up to $1,000 at which point coverage is 100%), out-of-network costs have increased substantially (only 60% of costs are covered – as opposed to 70% previously – and the maxim amount your client can pay now tops out at $20,000 as opposed to $2,500 previously).

Given these changes, you may want to think strategically about how best to use the resources available to your clients. For example, if your client has an out-of-network internist or eye doctor that they have known for a long time, the client may want to keep these healthcare providers as the increased costs are relatively modest. On the other hand, should a client be considering surgery, you may want to help them make sure that the procedure is performed in-network.

There are several ways to obtain information about what providers are in-network. Blue Cross maintains a database of providers on their website that can be linked to your clients’ WRX health card number. They even provide rankings of excellence for given specialties. You can also call them at: (800) 688-3828.

The PWGA health plan is substantially different than it was in 2017. We are glad to help you maximize your clients’ benefits. You can call Participant Services at: (818) 846-1015 or (800) 227-7863 or email us at: Pmailbox@wgaplans.org and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You and the PWGA share a common goal: we both want our Participants (your clients) to get all the benefits to which they are entitled.