NEW YORK CITY: The Actors Fund has announced the expansion and enhancement of its existing Every Artist Insured campaign. The initiative, supported by a lead gift of $1 million from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), will boost the organization’s free and confidential health insurance and enrollment support services at a time extraordinary need.
Thousands of out-of-work performing arts professionals will become ineligible for union insurance in the coming months. The Actors Fund will provide additional health insurance counselors to aid individuals and families in selecting and securing affordable health insurance plans.
“Due to the episodic nature of their employment, people who work in performing arts in every discipline—actors and stage managers, dancers, musicians, backstage and front of house personnel—lack the ability to secure and sustain health insurance as they lose the weeks of work that qualify them for health insurance from their various unions,” said BC/EFA executive director Tom Viola in a statement. “Every Artist Insured will address this health insurance eligibility crisis and offer advocacy navigating health insurance options and support to those who need it most in securing and keeping health insurance coverage active. Broadway Cares is proud and eager to join the Actors Fund in this essential collaboration.”
The Actors Fund has provided more than $13 million of emergency financial assistance to entertainment workers nationally since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March. In addition to providing health insurance counseling for both union and non-union performing arts professionals, the Actors Fund will continue to provide online education with seminars, webinars, and updates on health insurance options.
“The Actors Fund is committed to providing the services our community needs to weather this storm,” said Actors Fund board vice chair Annette Bening in a statement. “While Every Artist Insured is an ongoing program of the Fund, the pandemic-related termination of so many members of our community from their health insurance plans has created an urgent and time-sensitive need to enhance these services well beyond our normal scale. It’s a challenge we’re ready to meet for our community.”
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