Actors Fund Expands Insurance Education Campaign As Theater Workers Face Loss Of Health Benefits
With thousands of out-of-work theater professionals likely to become ineligible for their union insurance over the next six months as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown continues, The Actors Fund is launching a campaign to enhance its health insurance counseling and enrollment support services.
A lead gift of $1 million from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will launch The Actors Fund’s “Every Artist Insured” campaign. The Actors Fund will hire and train additional health insurance counselors, doubling the staff of their Artists Health Insurance Resource Center to provide individuals and families with education and assistance needed to select and secure affordable health insurance plans through the state health insurance exchanges. The enhanced program starts immediately.
The Actors Fund will continue to raise additional funds needed to fund the program over the next 12 months.
Earlier today, the Broadway League officially extended the Broadway shutdown period until Jan. 3, 2021, though many productions don’t expect to return until Spring 2021 at the earliest.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted disproportionate economic damage on Equity members and the performing arts and entertainment community at large, and the suffering of those in live performance disciplines is especially deep and prolonged,” said Actors’ Equity Executive Director and Actors Fund Board member Mary McColl. “The Actors Fund knows who our members are, what they need and they are proving yet again that they can respond quickly to those needs. Now more than ever, we are learning just how important they are to the health of everyone who works in entertainment.”
Said AFM Local 802 President Adam Krauthamer, “The pandemic has devastated our members’ work opportunities and has had a profound impact on our musicians’ lives. Many of our members have experienced deep anxiety about maintaining much-needed health insurance. Our musicians have always counted on The Actors Fund for everything from counseling to housing to financial relief, and now their support for our members in remaining insured will be more important than ever.”
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