Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Cast & Crew Open Health?
A. Developed by leading insurance, legal, and human resources experts, Cast & Crew Open Health (Open Health) is the first Affordable Care Act (ACA) – compliant, multiple-employer healthcare coverage plan created for all non-union entertainment industry employees. Open Health is low cost, simplifies budgeting, and eliminates cost-allocation challenges. Open Health simplifies year-end reporting and automates a number of functions, including the Notice of Exchange (NOE) and all COBRA communication.
Open Health is portable for both employer and employee. Structured similarly to a guild or union plan, the employee’s hours are aggregated across all member employer groups. Employers are free to choose their own payroll services provider and the plan is eligible for most state tax-incentive programs. The plan provides employers with large-group pricing and insurance benefits that are superior to most plans available in the insurance marketplace.
Q. How does Open Health benefit our company?
A. Open Health significantly reduces your company’s ACA burden and ensures ACA compliance. Your company no longer has to allocate valuable resources toward tracking hours, terminations, rehires, or computing cost allocation to productions.
Q. How is the Open Health plan different?
A. Open Health is a complete industry solution to the challenges of the Affordable Care Act. Open Health is a fully-insured Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) and complies with ERISA, the ACA, and other applicable laws. Open Health is funded through a trust established for the exclusive benefit of its participants. Employers are free to continue conducting business in the same way they did before the advent of the ACA.
Q. What are the costs to the employer?
A. Open Health’s cost structure for project-based employees is based on a percentage of gross wages and is similar to that used in the entertainment industry today. This structure provides certainty with respect to budgeting. Open Health also offers a monthly cost structure for regular full-time staff employees.
Q. What do we need to do become a member of Open Health?
A. It’s easy! Join Open Health by executing the plan documents. Contributions will appear on your payroll invoice.
Q. Who handles enrollment?
A. Open Health manages all aspects of employee enrollment. Benefit eligible employees receive enrollment information directly from Open Health with plan information and online enrollment instructions.
Q. How it reporting handled?
A. Open Health will file a single Form 5500 on behalf of all participating member employers; as such, participating member employers are relieved of their separate Form 5500 filling obligations.
Open Health will provide Forms 1095-C to covered employees on behalf of participating employers and will file Form 1094-C on behalf of the employer for the covered employees. However, each employer must also file a single Form 1094-C, aggregating all data for all of its employees. This is called the authoritative transmittal. Employers will be required to aggregate the data provided in the Form 1094-C filed by Open Health with data regarding employees who are not covered employees and prepare their own authoritative transmittal. Open Health will provide the data necessary to simplify this reporting task.
Q. How does the employee receive a Notice of Exchange (NOE)?
A. NOEs are automatically sent to new hires if they are working for a participating member employer.
Q. How does my company pay for Open Health?
A. This is the best part! The cost will appear as a fringe on your payroll invoice and will be remitted by your company or your payroll services provider to Open Health.
Q. Will my choice of payroll services providers by affected by joining Open Health?
A. No, there is no impact. Member employers retain full autonomy regarding their choice of payroll provider.
Q. Why are you including non-affiliates?
A. Though contributions may be made to a collectively bargained plan on behalf of the non-affiliate employee, if the employee does not qualify for benefits in such plan, the employer is exposed to non-compliance penalties. Therefore, to ensure compliance and eliminate any risks to the employer, Open Health includes non-affiliates.
Q. What if an employee is paid both union and non-union wages?
A. All non-union wages are considered.
Q. Are loan-outs included in Open Health?