Health Insurance for Actors

by Michelle Dwyer ; Updated July 27, 2017
Actor speaking with doctor.

Only a few actors become wealthy enough to afford health care without insurance. This leaves the majority of actors looking for decent health coverage at fair prices. Actors can qualify for group plans if they join an actors' union.

Screen Actors' Guild

To join SAG, you must pay $3,000, plus semi-annual dues of $198 and 1.575 percent of wages. To qualify for insurance, you must earn between $10,900 and $30,000 or work a minimum of 76 days. Premiums between plans range from $271 to $519. While SAG has merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to become SAG-AFTRA, their health plans remain separate. AFTRA premiums range from $420 to $807 quarterly. To qualify, members must have earned between $10,000 and $30,000.

Actor's Equity

Actor's Equity represents stage actors. You must pay $1,100 initially and dues of $59 semi-annually plus 2.25 percent of gross earnings to join. Minimum hourly work requirement for health insurance is 12 weeks in 12 months to get six months of coverage, and 20 weeks for a full year of coverage. Premiums are $100 quarterly.

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Affordable Care

The Affordable Care act provides subsidies for actors who qualify; you must apply, however, directly with the Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment usually starts in November. Also, the Actors Fund offers affordable health services and recommends the Artists' Health Insurance Resource Center for further information tailored to your state.

About the Author

Michelle Dwyer is a U.S. Army veteran writing fiction and nonfiction since 2003. She specializes in business, careers, leadership, military affairs and organizational change and behavior. Dwyer received an MBA from Tarleton State University/Texas A&M Central Texas and an MFA in creative writing from National University in La Jolla, Calif.

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