One of the primary reason freelancers came together to form Local 748 was to gain access to health and retirement benefits. For every hour you work as a freelancer for an contracted employer, a contribution is paid into a fund to provide direct benefits to you. These payments are a personal benefit on which you do not pay income tax. Each employer pays an hourly amount towards healthcare, a percentage into an retirement annuity and a daily rate towards a retirement pension. For these rates, visit our Rates Page.

Membership in the Union is not required to receive these benefits. Employer contributions are made for ALL employees for ALL work performed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA").

The IATSE self manages these benefits through the National Benefit Fund ("NBF"). Self-management means that IATSE isn't trying to make any money off of your benefits. The NBF is a non-profit company that administers the funds contributed by the employers on our behalf. A board of trustees, that includes the IATSE and contributing employers, govern the NBF. It is a separate company than the IATSE union. Our union has no dealings with the NBF. Their website at www.iatsenbf.org can be very helpful finding information about the benefits IATSE provides. All questions or problems concerning these benefits should be directed to the NBF by calling them at 1-800-456-FUND (3863).

Presently the NBF uses:

  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to administer our health insurance plan
  • Wells Fargo to administer our retirement funds
  • Davis Vision to administer our vision plan
  • Delta Dental for our dental plan
  • CVS Caremark for our prescription plan
  • ULLICO to administer our life insurance policy

It is your responsibility to inform the National Benefit Fund office of any change in your contact information or any change in your family status. If you move, change your marital status, or change your name, you must inform the NBF of the change. Your employer or this union cannot handle this for you.

The information below is a brief overview of how the health insurance plan works. A much more complete explanation of the provisions can be found at www.iatsenbf.org.

Health Insurance

Each hour you work, your employer contributes directly into an account for use in paying healthcare premiums. The account into which funds are paid is called the health and welfare CAPP account. (CAPP is an acronym for "Contributions Against Premium Payments.") After the first $100, which is retained by the NBF the administrative costs of setting up your account, these funds are held for your exclusive benefit to pay health insurance premiums and other health care expenses.

The NBF offers four levels of health care as well as a medical reimbursement plan (for those participants who have existing coverage). Each plan has a quarterly cost to participate.

There are four levels of health care coverage as well as a medical reimbursement plan. IATSE 748 participates with the NBF Plan C. Within Plan C, there are plans C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4 which align with the Affordable Care Act Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze plans. Within each option there is an Individual Plan and a Family Plan. Please refer to the www.iatsenbf.org for more information on these plans.

Health insurance premiums are due quarterly (the 15th day of the month before the next quarter). Based on the level of your CAPP account, you will have to pay the difference between your CAPP balance and the premium to maintain coverage. If your CAPP account sufficient funds to cover the premium, you pay nothing. For example, the 2015 quarterly rate for C-3 family is $2,232 per quarter. If your CAPP account has $1,850 in it from employer contributions, you will need to pay in $382. If you have $3100 in your account, you pay nothing and the remainder ($868) will roll over to your next quarter's premiums.

You will qualify for voluntary participation in the plan when there is an accumulation in your CAPP account great enough to pay the premium for one month of health insurance under NBF Plan C-2 Individual.

Automatic Enrollment

Once there is an accumulation in your CAPP account great enough to pay the premium for one quarter of health insurance under NBF Plan C-2 Individual plan you will receive a letter from the NBF. You will be enrolled in the Health Insurance plan automatically if you do not reply to that letter and show that you already have health insurance coverage. Funds will be deducted each quarter from your CAPP account to pay the premium.

Once you are enrolled, if you do not have enough balance in your CAPP account to pay the quarterly premium, you MUST pay the difference. If you do not pay the premium, coverage will lapse due to non-payment, and you will not have access to the health insurance plan until you meet the criteria for re-enrollment for coverage. Re-enrollment is more difficult than initial qualification – please see below.

If You Already Have Health Care Insurance

If you already have health insurance, you must reply to the initial enrollment letter and show that you already have health coverage so that you will not be enrolled in the health insurance plan automatically. Once enrolled in the reimbursement option, your CAPP account funds may be used to reimburse you for any legitimate health care insurance premiums you pay. For example, if your spouse has health insurance through another employer, and you are carried on that plan, any premium that you pay for that insurance for yourself, your spouse, or your family can be turned in for reimbursement from your CAPP account. Also, any co-pays for office visits, prescriptions, or almost any legitimate medical cost you pay that is not covered by your existing insurance may also be turned in for reimbursement. Your CAPP account is YOUR MONEY to use for YOUR heath care costs. There are rules to follow and restrictions to observe, as with any plan, so be sure to coordinate with the NBF office.

Staying Qualified

In order to remain qualified to stay enrolled in the plan, one must work for a contracted employer frequently enough for the employer to contribute an amount equal to one quarter's premium under the C-2 Individual Plan over a 24-month period. If you do not work at least this much for a contracted employer, you will become ineligible for the IATSE Health Insurance plan.

Pay Premiums Promptly

The National Benefit Fund's rules are quite rigid in regards the timely payment of premiums. We have had individuals lose their coverage because their self-pay portion of the premium payment arrived one day late. This is a severe penalty, usually causing a lapse of coverage for which Re-enrollment qualification is required. If you like, the NBF can now accept credit card payment. The NBF recently launched a new website and premium payments can be made online. Enrollment in the online account can take a few days so plan ahead and please don't wait until the last day.

Re-Enrolling After Cancellation For Non-Payment Of Premiums

If your NBF Health Insurance coverage lapses, you will not be eligible to re-enroll until the balance in your CAPP account equals the monthly charge for C-3 single coverage plus an administrative fee of $150. This is very likely to happen if you don't respond to mail from the National Benefit Fund. The NBF did institute a mulligan policy where once every five years you can re-enroll without question once you catch up on your premiums.

IMPORTANT: If YOU IGNORE YOUR MAIL FROM THE NAIONAL BENEFITS FUND, IF YOU "DO NOTHING," YOU STAND TO LOSE ACCESS TO GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE AND/OR SOME OR ALL OF THE BALANCE IN YOUR CAPP ACCOUNT! We recommend you setting calendar reminders online and on your phone so you do not miss these deadlines.

Loss Of CAPP Account Funds

Freelancers who do not participate in the IATSE Health Care Plan can see their CAPP account accumulate, sometimes to a very high balance. For CAPP accounts in which there is no activity, EMPLOYER contributions more than 2 years old will be deducted, again, "doing nothing" can cost you money!

Cobra Coverage

If for any reason you can no longer be enrolled in the IATSE Health Plan, you can continue to have insurance coverage under provisions of COBRA. You can retain coverage under this plan for at least 18 months after you become disqualified and/or dropped for any reason. The premiums will be significantly higher – more than double – and there are other restrictions, but this could be a useful avenue during a time of qualification for Re-enrollment (above) or for a time of transition to another health insurance plan altogether. Again, please visit www.iatsenbf.org for more information.