The Actors Fund has launched the Every Artist Insured campaign, with a lead gift of $1 million from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, to enhance the Fund's free and confidential health insurance counseling and enrollment support services.
Over the next six months, thousands of professionals in the entertainment field will become ineligible for their union insurance due to the ongoing pandemic. In order to maintain coverage, individuals and families will need education and assistance in selecting and securing health insurance plans through the state health insurance exchanges. To respond to this need, The Actors Fund will hire and train additional health insurance counselors, doubling the staff of the Artists Health Insurance Resource Center.
BC/EFA’s support will make it possible for The Actors Fund to raise the additional funds needed to create and fund the program over the next 12 months.
“One of our biggest immediate concerns in the midst of the pandemic is access to health insurance,” said Actors Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell. “We have a short window of time to address this problem facing potentially thousands of people.”
“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,” added Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola. “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 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,” stated 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.”
“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," said AFM Local 802 President Adam Krauthamer. "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. We are proud of our partnership with The Actors Fund and are grateful for the ongoing support."
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, The Actors Fund has provided emergency financial assistance to performing arts and entertainment community workers nationally, totaling more than $13 million in assistance to more than 11,000 people. To donate to support The Actors Fund’s Every Artist Insured campaign, visit ActorsFund.org/EAIDonate.
The Actors Fund’s programs remain available for everyone in the performing arts and entertainment community. These services include Artists Health Insurance Resource Center, The Career Center, The Dancers’ Resource, Housing Resources, Addiction & Recovery, HIV/AIDS, Women’s Health and Senior Services, Counseling and Emergency Financial Assistance, and more. For a listing of all services of The Actors Fund, visit ActorsFund.org/Services.