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Monday, March 14, 2016
SAG, AFTRA Health Plans Expected to Merge by January, Says Trustee
The SAG and AFTRA health plans, whose still-separate status four years after the two actors unions (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) merged has remained a major irritant, are expected to merge by January 2017, said an AFTRA plan trustee Friday. "There is underway a merger of the health plans," said Disney/ABC Labor Vice-President Marc Sandman at a UCLA law school panel. "There is an expectation that it will be complete as of January next year."
The remark by Sandman, who co-chairs the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds Board of Trustees, represents the first concrete public statement regarding timing of a plan merger. The two legacy plans, and the merged SAG-AFTRA union, have been reluctant to offer specifics on the process.
Sandman declined to comment beyond his remarks. However, it is believed that the trustees of the two plans have not yet been asked to vote on a merger plan. That would probably have to happen by August or so, if a new merged plan is to be available in January — which is the time of year when new health plans are generally offered and when people who wish to switch do so.