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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In Hollywood, Health Coverage Presents Unique Challenges

Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from

Inside the Fox Studios in Century City, crews are shooting the latest episodes of some of television’s biggest shows, including “Modern Family,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “Bones.” Just outside the lot, crew members on breaks are lining up at a mobile health clinic in a converted Winnebago, seeking treatment for both chronic diseases and common ailments.
The Hollywood film and television industry relies heavily on freelancers and independent contractors who are rarely offered health insurance from an employer. Throughout Southern California, producers, writers, actors, editors, camera operators and prop makers move from gig to gig and hold numerous jobs each year. Some get insurance through the industry’s unions – after paying hefty fees and dues and working enough hours on union jobs. Others pay for private policies – or simply go without.
The nation’s health law will offer financial help for those who buy policies through new insurance marketplaces and whose incomes are within the limits. But contract workers, freelancers and seasonal employees in a variety of industries will fall in and out of eligibility for subsidies, causing confusion and possible tax consequences at the end of the year.
Entertainment workers face an additional challenge on top of the constant job turnover and temporary nature of their employment. Crew members often work long hours rigging lights, moving gear and building sets, which can...
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