PGA Launches Health Insurance Initiative for Producers

PGA Launches Health Insurance Initiative for Producers

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has announced a new initiative to provide health insurance benefits for all qualified producers working full-time in the film and television industry. The initiative was revealed by PGA presidents Stephanie Allain and Donald De Line during the 35th annual PGA Awards on Sunday. The initiative aims to close the health benefits gap that many producers face, as they lack guaranteed health insurance benefits unlike other unionized creative professionals in the industry .

The initiative offers two options for major entities to add a health insurance fund contribution to cover the work of what it describes as “qualified producers with credits recognized by the PGA who are working full time on their eligible projects.” The first option is to make contributions through the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan (MPIPHP) for eligible producers on qualifying productions. The second option is to include a direct payment line item in their production budgets for producers who cannot access benefits through an existing industry plan or union contract, to be used for purchasing their own health insurance plan .

The initiative is supported by several production companies, including Blumhouse, Legendary, MACRO and Berlanti Productions, who have pledged to implement the initiative in their upcoming projects. The PGA hopes that more production companies, studios and streamers will join the initiative and help improve the health and well-being of the producers and their families .

The Background and Rationale of the Initiative

The initiative is the result of years of efforts and advocacy by the PGA and its members, who have been working to address the issue of health insurance for producers. The initiative was started by PGA member Harvey Wilson, and gained momentum under the guidance of past PGA presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher. The initiative was also influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed the vulnerabilities and risks of the healthcare system and the need for quality and safety in healthcare .

The PGA believes that providing health insurance benefits for producers is not only a moral and ethical obligation, but also a business and industry imperative. The PGA argues that health insurance benefits will help attract and retain talented and diverse producers, who are the backbone of any production and the drivers of innovation and excellence. The PGA also asserts that health insurance benefits will enhance the productivity and performance of the producers, who will be able to focus on their work without worrying about their health coverage. The PGA also claims that health insurance benefits will foster a culture of collaboration and cooperation among the producers and other creative professionals, who share the same values and goals of creating quality content .

The Reaction and Response to the Initiative

The initiative has received positive and enthusiastic reaction and response from the producers and other stakeholders in the industry, who have praised and applauded the PGA for its leadership and vision. Jason Blum, Blumhouse CEO and founder, said, “Producers are the only group of creative professionals without a union on set, so we have to look out for each other. Taking care of our own is good business, good for families and good for our industry, and I’m proud to be part of the group leading this initiative.” Charles D. King, MACRO founder and CEO, said, “This is a game-changing moment for our industry and I commend the PGA for their leadership in spearheading this initiative. MACRO is proud to stand with our fellow producers in support of this vital effort that will positively impact the lives and livelihoods of so many.”

The initiative has also received support and endorsement from other industry organizations and unions, such as the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Writers Guild of America (WGA), and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), who have expressed their solidarity and appreciation for the PGA and its initiative. Thomas Schlamme, DGA president, said, “We applaud the PGA for taking this important step to provide health benefits for producers, who are essential partners in the creative process. We look forward to working with the PGA and the production companies to ensure that this initiative is implemented smoothly and effectively.” David A. Goodman, WGA West president, said, “We congratulate the PGA for launching this initiative, which will benefit not only the producers, but also the entire industry and the audiences. We support the PGA and its efforts to secure health insurance for producers, who deserve the same protection and care as other unionized creative professionals.” Gabrielle Carteris, SAG-AFTRA president, said, “We commend the PGA for initiating this groundbreaking initiative, which will improve the health and well-being of the producers and their families. We stand with the PGA and its members in this vital movement, and we encourage all production companies to join and participate in this initiative.”