Frequently Asked Questions
Q What is a project-based employee?
A A project-based employee is a production worker who is hired for a discreet project, or projects, and whose employment relationship is expected to end upon completion of the project(s). Your Open Health welcome letter will indicate whether you are a project-based employee.
Q What is a staff employee?
A A staff employee is an employee who is not expected to terminate upon the completion of any specific project. To be an Open Health staff employee your employer must identify you as a staff employee. Your Open Health welcome letter will indicate whether you are a staff employee.
Q I work through a loan-out. Am I eligible to participate in Open Health?
A In most cases, yes! However, check with your employer as there are some exceptions.
Q How do I know if my employer is a member of Open Health?
A If your employer is an existing member of Open Health, you should receive a memo when you begin employment. If you do not receive any memo, please ask your employer if they are a member of Open Health.
Q How do I know if I’m a project-based or staff employee?
A Your Open Health welcome letter will identify whether you are considered a project-based or staff employee.
Q What is an Initial Employment Period?
A An initial employment period is the period when a project-based employee first enters the plan. This can occur when you first begin working for a member of Open Health or your current employer becomes a member of Open Health. Your initial employment period will continue until you have been a plan participant for a full measurement period.
Note – A continuing employee will be considered a new participant and will start a new initial employment period on the day he or she again works for a member after 22 weeks of no work for a member.
Q How does a project-based employee become eligible for coverage during their Initial Employment Period?
A A project-based employee who works 130 hours in any calendar month during the Initial Employment Period will be offered coverage effective as of the first day of the calendar month following a two-month waiting period.
Q What is a Measurement Period?
A Open Health has two six-month Measurement Periods every year: November through April and May through October. At the end of each Measurement Period Open Health will look back to measure your average hours worked per week. The measurement period is used to determine whether you will be eligible for coverage for the next six-month Stability Period. If you average 30-plus hours per week during a Measurement Period you will remain insured during the next six-month Stability Period.
Q What is a Stability Period?
A If you receive coverage based on a standard Measurement Period, you will enter a Stability Period. The six-month Stability Period begins two months after your Measurement Period ends, and runs January through June and July through December. If you meet the eligibility requirement during the Measurement Period you will remain insured through Open Health during the entire six-month Stability Period.
Q I am a project-based employee who works for several employers. Will all of my hours count?
A All hours worked for member companies will count towards your Open Health eligibility.
Q How will I know when I’ve qualified for coverage?
A You will receive a qualification letter and coverage election form from Open Health when you are eligible for coverage. These documents will be provided to you by email, or standard mail if an email address is not available.
Q What coverage will I receive?
A The coverage you receive will be based on your state of residency and status as a project-based or staff employee.
Q How much will my coverage cost?
A Standard Open Health coverage is provided to you at NO CHARGE. Your standard plan will vary based on your state of residency and whether you are a project-based or a staff employee.
Q Are there additional coverage options?
A All employees can elect to add spouse/dependent coverage, as well as ancillary coverage which includes a dental, vision and Life/AD&D bundle at very competitive prices. Furthermore, if your state of residency is California, you can elect to “buy-up” to the Open Health PPO plan for an additional charge. These options and prices will be made available to you during the enrollment process.
Q I am a project-based employee and have qualified for coverage. How long will I remain insured?
A If you become insured during your Initial Employment Period, your coverage will continue until the end of the two-month administrative period following your first full Measurement Period (as long as you do not have nine consecutive weeks without hours). If you maintain coverage as a continuing employee (based on a standard Measurement Period) you will remain insured through Open Health during the entire six-month Stability Period.
Q What if I had coverage during my Initial Employment Period and lost it due to no hours worked over a nine-week period? How do I become insured again?
A If you are still in your Initial Employment Period you will qualify for coverage again the month following your next reported activity.
Q What if I had coverage and lost it due to no hours worked over a consecutive 22-week period? How do I become insured again?
A You will begin a new Initial Employment Period when you return into the Plan and must work 130 hours in a calendar month in order to qualify for coverage.
Q I’m a project-based employee and currently have coverage through Open Health. What happens if I start a project for a new employer?
A Your Open Health coverage is portable among member employers. If your new employer is a member of Open Health, your hours will go toward maintaining your coverage.
Q Do I have to be paid by Cast & Crew in order to be eligible for Open Health?
A No. Your employer may use the services of any payroll service provider. Open Health is available for all employers in the entertainment industry.