If you are a member of SAG-AFTRA (the union that represents actors and other entertainers) you probably find yourself accruing earnings in two separate health and pension plans. If you have eligibility to participate in both or either plan you may wish to compare them. I am annoyed by how hard it was to get information on this subject. I created this page to record what I uncovered. As to cover my own ass I need to tell you to please remember: I offer no warranty or guarantee over the information I provide here.
Before you just dive right in to the comparison of the two plans, you really need to know something about our industry's insurance plans:
You think you have a choice between the two plans, but you pretty much don't.
Please click here to let me do some important explaining before you review the comparison below.
This table is NOT exhaustive of the plans' benefits. It has been compiled from sagph.org & aftrahr.com from their respective plan documents as of Feb 2015. I have listed a majority of commonly covered health plan benefits. I compared the AFTRA HR plan to the SAG PH Two Plan, the one I am interested in, and wrote which plan won that category in the COMPARED column and a little about to which degree it won. This is very subjective and needs to be done for yourself. Don't rely on my opinion of which benefit is better. If it wasn't possible for me to determine a winner I wrote UND. If it was a tie I wrote EQUAL.
Next I assigned values to each of the benefits that are important to me. Benefits such as family maximums are not relevant to me so I did not give them any points. I made judgement on the importance on a scale of 0 to 10 for each that would sum to 100. Then I multiplied by 2 for wins "by a mile" and 1 for wins and then 10% for wins "by a hair." I multiplied by 0 if the win was undetermined or equal. Additionally if the win was for SAG it was a positive multiple, if it was a win for AFTRA it was a negative multiple.
The summation at the very bottom of the POINTS column therefore represents the degree to which one plan beat the other. At 5.7, my analysis for my own situation is that the SAG plan is better for me by 5.7 points in that direction. Its pretty arbitrary but I can see which of my two choices win and by how much. For example a slam dunk in either direction would be 100 points. SAG PH is pretty close to AFTRA HR for me, not a huge win but still significant to me.
NC = not covered pp = per person pv = per visit UND = undetermined
Now as you can expect, everyone is going to look at this comparison and assign different values to each item, making this decision isn't easy. For me, the decision is about 5.7 points in the direction of SAG PH. I hope you find this analysis useful in the approach you decide to take, it did helped me!
Please feel free to download, modify, and share the worksheet; you can download it below.
Luke David Johnson
I write stuff I think the internet is missing.