This is where header code goes

Life Events That Can Affect Your Benefits

(Birth, Death, Disability, Marriage, Divorce, Children Growing Up, Relocation, etc.)

Many of life’s events can have an important impact on your benefits. Here are five common categories of events that can affect benefits, along with some advice on how to deal with them.

You add or change beneficiaries

When certain life events – such as marriage, divorce, or having a child – occur, you may wish to change or add beneficiaries for your Equity-League Funds (ELF) retirement benefits.

For both the ELF Pension and 401(k) plans, if you are married, your spouse is automatically your beneficiary. To name a beneficiary for your retirement benefits who is not your spouse, your spouse must consent in writing. Refer to the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description for complete information about this requirement.

Changing your beneficiary designations

To make an initial beneficiary designation or to change your beneficiaries (or the allocations to beneficiaries), you must complete and return standard beneficiary forms, which are separate for the two funds. You’ll find current versions of these beneficiary forms on our Pension forms and 401(k) forms pages.

Divorce can automatically change your beneficiaries

Following a divorce or legal annulment, your ex-spouse will be automatically removed as your beneficiary (if previously designated as your beneficiary) unless a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) stipulates otherwise. If you wish your ex-spouse to continue as your beneficiary, a separate (non-standard) form is required. Please download, complete, and submit a Re-designation of Former Spouse as Beneficiary Form.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) SPD. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

You add or lose a dependent

When your family grows, you have a 31-day window to add any new qualified dependents to your Equity-League Funds (ELF) health coverage. Conversely, if a covered dependent no longer qualifies as a dependent (for example, after a divorce), you must notify us immediately, so that we are able to adjust your coverage accordingly.

While life events allow you to make changes to your coverage as they occur, you may also make certain changes each November during Annual Open Enrollment.

Adding dependents

The following life events allow you to add a dependent outside of Annual Open Enrollment – if you notify us within 31 days and provide required documentation:

  • Marriage
  • Birth
  • Adoption
  • Becoming a guardian, or
  • A non-covered child (up to age 26) becomes a qualified dependent

To better understand the last bullet, consider the following example. Jessica, a dependent child, loses eligibility for coverage when she turns 19, because she was not enrolled in an accredited educational or vocational institution – a requirement described in the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description. A year later, Jessica enrolls in college. Since she now meets the Health Plan’s definition of a dependent, Jessica may be added to her mother’s ELF coverage.

To add a dependent, visit our Health forms page to download a new enrollment form. Then submit the completed form with the required documentation (as described on the form) and pay the premium. For current premium amounts, visit our Premiums page. New dependent coverage is effective on the first day of the calendar month following the month in which the dependent was added.

If you want to add your new dependent as a beneficiary for your pension or 401(k) benefits, visit our Adding or changing beneficiaries page.

Losing dependents

The following life events may cause a covered dependent to lose dependent status:

  • Divorce
  • Dissolution of a domestic partnership
  • A dependent dies
  • An adult child turns 26

When any of these events occur, you must notify the ELF office immediately. If you do not notify us of such a loss of dependent status, you will be responsible for any claims paid for dependents who no longer qualify as dependents. It is ELF’s obligation to all participants to recover any claims paid improperly, whether this was the result of a mistake or intentional fraud.

For additional details about “aging out” of dependent coverage, visit our Your adult child turns 26 page.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Health Fund SPD. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact the ELF Health

Your adult dependent turns 26

If your adult child has Equity-League Funds (ELF) health coverage as a dependent, he or she will lose eligibilty for dependent coverage at age 26. Coverage will end on the last day of the month of the dependent’s 26th birthday.

Continuing your dependent’s coverage under COBRA

When a dependent ages out of coverage, he or she may continue health coverage under COBRA for up to 36 months. COBRA will be offered effective the first of the month following the month that includes the dependent’s 26th birthday. For example, if your child turns 26 in September, COBRA will be offered effective Oct. 1. To learn more, visit our When ELF coverage ends page.

Exploring coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces

When considering whether or not to take COBRA, dependents approaching age 26 may want to explore coverage available through Health Insurance Marketplaces. If your child works in the entertainment industry, the Artists’ Health Insurance Resource Center from the Actors Fund can help explore any available coverage options. To learn more, visit the pages linked below.

The Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplaces Affordable Care Act FAQs

The Artists’ Health Insurance Resource Center from the Actors Fund

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact the ELF Health Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800)

Changing your contact information

When your address, phone number, or email address changes, visit the Equity-League Funds (ELF) secure Self-Service Portal to update your contact information as soon as possible.

Moving, or going on the road?

If you are moving or going on the road, and you want the ELF Office to use a different mailing address, email address, or phone number, please make the appropriate change in our Self-Service Portal. Or, you may contact the Fund Office in a lower-tech way, but please help us keep our communications with you current.

Visit our Moving page for additional information. Or, if your address is change is temporary, refer to our Going on the road page for information and next steps.

HMO participant? Confirm your new address is in the HMO’s service area.

If you’re a Health Plan participant enrolled in an HMO, visit this page and select your HMO to confirm that your new address in that HMO’s service area. If it is outside the service area, you have the option to change to the Cigna Plan effective the first day of the following month. To change to the Cigna Plan, notify us of your permanent move in writing mailed to the address below:

HMO Coordinator

Equity League Health Trust Fund

165 West 46th Street

New York, NY 10036

Updating your contact info with both ELF and Actors’ Equity

Remember that updating your contact information with ELF does not automatically update your contact information with the Actors’ Equity, and vice versa. ELF and the Actors’ Equity are separate organizations which are, by law, prevented from sharing certain information. When your contact information changes, you must notify both organizations separately.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, please refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description. If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

The death of a dependent, spouse, or beneficiary

If your spouse or another dependent or beneficiary dies, we at the Equity-League Funds (ELF) know that you and your loved ones will be grieving. However, when the situation permits, there are steps you may need to take related to your benefits.

Notifying ELF after the death of a dependent

If a dependent covered by the Health Plan dies, please notify the ELF office immediately. This will prevent you from being charged for dependent premiums unnecessarily.

Designating new beneficiaries for your retirement benefits

If you participate in the ELF Pension and/or 401(k) Plans, and your spouse or other beneficiary dies, you should desginate a new beneficiary or beneficiaries as soon as possible. This ensures that your benefits are distributed according to your wishes if something happens to you. To learn how to designate new beneficiaries, visit our Adding or changing beneficiaries page.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, please refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New

The death of a participant

If you die before your spouse or other dependents or beneficiaries, they will grieve. However, your survivors’ finances may also be drastically impacted. Because of this, your Equity-League Funds (ELF) benefits may be of tremendous help your survivors. Though the subject is difficult, take time to review the benefit options available in the event of your death with your family now.

Notifying ELF after a death

In the event of your death, your survivors should notify the ELF office as soon as possible. Please share this important step with your family, because we won’t be able to help your survivors until we know what has happened.

How survivors may continue health benefits

If your spouse and/or children had employment-based coverage under the ELF Health Plan at the time of your death, your dependents’ coverage will end on the last day of the month of your death. However, your dependents may be able to continue coverage for up to 36 months under COBRA1.

How survivors may receive your retirement benefits Under the ELF Pension Plan,

a survivor benefit2 is available to your surviving spouse or beneficiary if you die before commencing your pension. A survivor benefit is also available after you begin your pension if one of the following applies:

  • You selected a Joint and Survivor option, or
  • You selected the regular single life annuity, but you have not yet received 60 monthly pension payments. For additional information, visit our Pension benefits page.

Your survivors may receive your 401(k) benefits if you die as a 401(k) participant. Your remaining 401(k) balance will be available to your designated beneficiary or beneficiaries. However, there are differences in how these benefits may be taken depending on whether your beneficiary was also your spouse. For additional information, visit our 401(k) survivor benefits page.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the Equity-League Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description. If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

  1.  If you and your dependents were already covered under COBRA at the time of your death, your dependents will be entitled to 36 months of COBRA coverage reduced by the number of months they received COBRA coverage before your death.
  2. Survivor benefits vary depending on the payment option you choose. For complete details, refer to the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description

Becoming disabled

A disability can be difficult, even devastating, but additional benefits may be available to you through the Equity-League Funds (ELF), should you become disabled. How your disability affects your ELF health benefits depends on the type of disability. Additionally, you may be able to access ELF pension and/or 401(k) benefits if you are permanently and totally disabled. For complete information, refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

Understanding how different types of disabilities affect health benefits

As a participant, three types of disabilities can affect your ELF health benefits:

  • Temporary disability (non work-related) – If your state requires employers to provide short-term disability benefits, you may be eligible1. If your income from the theater stops during your disability, employer contributions to ELF on your behalf will also stop. However, any eligibilty for health coverage you previously earned through employment will continue. If your earned coverage ends during your disability, you and any covered dependents will be offered COBRA continuation coverage.
  • Temporary disability (work-related) – All states require employers to offer Workers Compensation benefits to those injured on the job, but benefits vary from state-to-state. You may also be eligible for ELF Supplemental Worker’s Compensation (SWC) benefits – visit our Health Forms page for an application. Otherwise, the impact on your Health Plan benefits is the same as described in the previous bullet.
  • Permanent and total disability – If you become totally and permanently disabled while covered by the Health Plan, you may continue benefits under COBRA for an extended period of 29 months2.

If your dependent child (younger than 19) becomes totally and permanently disabled, he or she may keep ELF health coverage for as long as you are covered by employment – in some cases, even longer under COBRA. If the child’s disability occurs after reaching age 19, he or she may still qualify for coverage until age 263.

1    While New York requires that employers offer short-term disability benefits, most states do not.

2   To qualify for the COBRA disability extension, your disability must have started before the 60th day of COBRA continuation coverage and last through the end of the standard 18 month period of COBRA coverage. Notice of a total and permanent disability must be provided to the ELF office within 60 days of the latest of: 1) the date Social Security Administration determines you are disabled, 2) the date of the qualifying event (when you became disabled), and 3) the date of the loss of coverage due to the qualifying event.

3   Written evidence of the child’s disability must be sent to the ELF office within 31 days of the age when coverage would normally end, and as requested by the ELF office thereafter.

A permanent disability may allow you to take your retirement benefits

As a participant, if you receive a disability award from the Social Security Administration indicating a total and permanent disability, you may be able to access your retirement benefits:

  • ELF pension disability benefits – If you were vested at the time of your disability, you may immediately begin collecting a disability pension. The pension will be equal to what your pension would have been at the normal retirement age of 65.
  • ELF 401(k) disability – If you are considered retired (regardless of age), you may take a 401(k) distribution subject to income tax, but not the 10% tax penalty for early 401(k) distributions.

Other questions? Once again, for complete details about how a disability affects ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869- 9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

Divorcing, or ending a domestic partnership

A divorce, or the end of a domestic partnership, is a difficult time. However, you should remember that these events impact your health and retirement benefits. Your former spouse (and his or her children), or former partner, becomes ineligible for Equity-League Funds (ELF) health coverage when your relationship ends. Additionally, a divorce automatically removes your ex-spouse as your beneficiary for any ELF retirement benefits.

Losing Health Plan dependents

In the event of a divorce, you must notify the ELF office of the divorce within 31 days. Your ex-spouse and any ex-stepchildren are no longer eligible for dependent coverage after 31 days, unless a Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO) stipulates otherwise for your former stepchildren.

If you do not notify us of such a loss of dependent status, you will be responsible for any claims paid for dependents who no longer qualify as dependents. It is ELF’s obligation to all participants to recover any claims paid improperly, whether this was the result of a mistake or intentional fraud.

For additional information, visit our You add or lose a dependent page.

If your domestic partnership ends, you must immediately file a written notice of dissolution of the domestic partnership with the ELF office.

Automatic removal of your ex-spouse as beneficary

After a divorce, your ex-spouse is automatically removed as your ELF Pension and/or 401(k) beneficiary, unless a Qualified Domestic Relations Support Order (QDRO) stipulates otherwise. If you wish your ex-spouse to remain the beneficiary for your retirement benefits, however, please complete and submit a Re-designation of Former Spouse as Beneficiary Form found on this page.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

Leaving covered employment

When participants leave covered employment, the benefit options available vary depending upon the reason for the end of employment. The potential effects of leaving covered employment are summarized on this page. For complete details, refer to the Equity League Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

Retiring

If you retire from the theater while you are a Health Plan participant, you may continue your benefits as self-paid coverage for up to 18 months through COBRA. You may be able to continue coverage even longer, through the Self-Pay After COBRA (SPAC) program, if you have 10 years of vesting service in the Pension Plan. For additional information, refer to our COBRA and SPAC pages.

If you participate in the Pension and/or 401(k) Plans, you may be able to begin collecting your retirement benefits. If you otherwise qualify, you may, without penalty, begin taking distributions from your 401(k) as early as age 59 1/2 and your pension benefits as early as age 60. For additional information, refer to our separate pages with information on taking your pension and taking your 401(k).

Changing to different work with benefits

If you find work outside the theater, such as in film or on television, you may be able to qualify for health or pension benefits in those industries. Or, you may gain employment outside of acting, but in a job where benefits are available.

In such cases, you should contact your new employer, other funds, or insurer to ensure there is no gap in benefits. Depending the circumstances, you may wish to continue ELF health coverage through COBRA, if you are eligible. For additional information, refer to our COBRA page.

If you find work in another industry after you are vested in the ELF Pension and/or 401(k) Plans, remember that you have earned a right to those ELF benefits. After you are vested, your retirement benefits are yours, no matter where you work.

Changing to different work with no benefits

If you had ELF health coverage before your employment ended, you should consider whether continuing your benefits through COBRA makes sense for you. In some situations, continuing coverage through COBRA will be the best alternative. In other situations, you may qualify for other health benefits that provide better value. Refer to our COBRA page for additional information.

In terms of retirement benefits,

if you are age 59 1/2 or older and participate in the ELF 401(k) Plan, you may wish to begin withdrawing from your 401(k) account. If you are age 60 and vested in the ELF Pension Plan, you may be able to begin collecting pension benefits as well. For additional information, refer to our separate pages with information on taking your pension and taking your 401(k).

Other questions?

Again, for complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the Equity League Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

Getting married

If you’re getting married, congratulations! You may add your new spouse and/or stepchildren to your Equity-League Funds (ELF) health coverage – but you have a limited time to do so. Your new spouse automatically becomes your beneficiary for any ELF pension benefits, but you must actively designate any beneficiary change for your 401(k) benefits.

Adding your spouse and/or stepchildren to your ELF health coverage

A marriage is considered a qualifying event. This means that you have 31 days after the date of your marriage to add your new spouse and/or stepchildren to your health coverage. If you miss this window, you’ll have to wait until the next Annual Open Enrollment period, held each November, to add any dependents. To learn more, visit our Premiums page and You add or lose a dependent page.

Changing beneficiaries for your ELF pension benefits

As an ELF Pension Plan participant, your spouse is automatically the beneficiary for any pension benefits, unless a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) stipulates otherwise. To designate another person as your beneficiary, you must have your spouse’s written, notarized consent. To learn more, visit our Adding or changing beneficiaries page.

Changing beneficiaries for your ELF 401(k) benefits

To designate your new spouse as your 401(k) beneficiary, visit our Adding or changing beneficiaries page.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380

You or your spouse becomes eligible for Medicare

When you or your spouse become eligible for Medicare (typically at age 65), the options available to you for health coverage change dramatically. Certain actions – or inactions – may affect other coverage or limit the choices available to you. Therefore, it is critical that you take the time to fully evaluate and consider your coverage options.

Continuing employment-based coverage – Medicare pays secondary

If you or your spouse remain eligible for employment-based coverage – whether through the Equity-League Funds (ELF) or an employer – generally you should continue this coverage. When anyone is eligible for coverage as an employee, Medicare is only required to pay secondary benefits. This is true even if you decline the employer-based coverage; you would still have to pay all costs that plan would have covered if you had accepted the coverage.

Have COBRA coverage? Medicare automatically becomes primary, and ELF coverage becomes supplemental

Once a participant with self-paid coverage – such as COBRA – becomes eligible for Medicare, that coverage immediately becomes secondary to Medicare. Additionally, your ELF coverage automatically converts to our Medicare supplemental coverage, which requires significantly lower premiums.

ELF’s Medicare supplemental coverage pays secondary to Medicare, and it includes prescription drug coverage through a Medicare Part D plan from Cigna. To learn more, visit our Medicare supplemental coverage page.

However, ELF’s offering may not be the best option for Medicare supplemental coverage available to you. For assistance with exploring all coverage options, contact the Artists’ Health Insurance Resource Center from the Actors Fund.

Know how purchasing private Medicare plans will affect your current benefits and choices

Purchasing a Medicare Advantage plan from a private insurer means that you waive your traditional Medicare benefits. Additionally, purchasing private Medicare Part D coverage may affect other prescription coverage available to you. Once again, the Artists’ Health Insurance Resource Center can provide invaluable assistance with understanding your options and the impacts of your choices.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact the ELF Health Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

Moving

Before or when you move, please visit our secure Self-Service Portal, where you can easily change your phone number, address, or email address 24/7.

Updating your contact info with both ELF and Actors’ Equity

Remember that updating your contact information with ELF does not automatically update your contact information with the Actors’ Equity, and vice versa. ELF and the Actors’ Equity are separate organizations which are, by law, prevented from sharing this information. When your contact information changes, you must notify both organizations separately.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)[/

Going on the road

When you make a temporary move, such as going on the road for work, make sure that we know how to reach you. Visit the Equity-League Funds (ELF) secure Self-Service Portal to provide your temporary address and/or phone number.

If you’re a Health Plan participant, also ensure that your premiums are pre-paid or paid on time while you are away to avoid penalties or a lapse coverage.

Extended tour? Additional considerations for HMO participants.

If you are covered by an HMO and will be outside your HMO’s service area for nine months or more, we strongly advise that you transfer your benefits to the Cigna Plan. The Cigna Plan will allow you to seek medical care with virtually any doctor in the country.

Though you have the option to remain on the HMO and receive coverage only for emergency treatment while you are away, this is not advised. Generally emergency care is only covered by the HMO if each of the following apply:

  1. The HMO defines your condition as an emergency
  2. You notified the HMO of your condition within the HMO’s required time frame, and
  3. You received approval from the HMO.

However, remember that the HMO will not cover follow-up care — or any care for a condition that the HMO does not consider to be an emergency. You must pay out-of-pocket any charges that are not covered by the HMO’s emergency benefit.

Updating your contact info with both ELF and Actors’ Equity

Remember that updating your contact information with ELF does not automatically update your contact information with the Actors’ Equity, and vice versa. ELF and the Actors’ Equity are separate organizations which are, by law, prevented from sharing this information. When your contact information changes, you must notify both organizations separately.

Other questions?

For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the Equity League Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

How life events affect your ELF benefits – an overview

Certain life events – such as moving or when your family grows – could affect your Equity-League Funds’ (ELF) benefits. If you don’t notify us promptly of these changes, you may miss certain opportunities available to you.

Below are links to summary information about how different life events may affect your benefits under the different ELF Plans.

Which life events may affect those with any type of ELF benefits?

The following life events require participants to notify the ELF office as soon as possible – typically within 30 days.

Changing your contact information

Moving

Going on the road

Leaving covered employment

Getting married

Divorcing

Becoming disabled

Becoming terminally ill

The death of a participant

The death of a dependent, spouse, or beneficiary

Which life events affect those with health coverage?

The following life events require ELF Health Plan participants or dependents to notify the ELF office as soon as possible – typically within 30 days.

An adult dependent turns 26 You or your dependent becomes eligible for Medicare You add or lose a dependent

Which life events affect those with retirement benefits? The following life events require ELF Pension and 401(k) Plan participants to notify the ELF office as soon as possible.

Adding or changing beneficiaries

A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is issued

Questions?

For full details about ELF benefits, view the Equity-League Health Fund Summary Plan Description and ELF Pension Plan & 401(k) Summary Plan Description. If you have other questions, please contact the ELF Health Department or Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is issued

Following a divorce, a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) may be issued by the court as part of the settlement.

A QDRO stipulates how your Equity-League Funds (ELF) pension and/or 401(k) – benefits will be distributed in the event of your death. A QDRO will prevent ELF from automatically removing your spouse as your beneficiary following a divorce, which is our standard policy. The ELF Funds are required to distribute your benefits as ordered by the court in the QDRO.

Questions? For complete details about ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

Becoming terminally ill

If you become terminally ill, benefits may be the last thing on your mind. However, the Equity-League Funds (ELF) offer a number of benefits that can help you during this difficult time. You may be able to continue your health benefits, even if you are unable to work and/or access your retirement benefits, as summarized below. For complete information, refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

Continuing your health benefits

Once any eligibilty for health coverage that you previously earned through covered employment ends, you will be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage.

Accessing your retirement benefits

If you are a Pension Plan participant with at least five years of vesting service, had no break in service, and at least one of those years included work that required employer contributions, you are entitled to a terminal illness benefit1. This benefit will be approximately equal to 60 months of what your pension would have been at age 65.

If you participate in the ELF 401(k) Plan, how you may access your benefits depends on your age:

  • If you are 59 1/2 or older, you may take a distribution from your 401(k) account subject to taxes, but not the 10% tax penalty normally associated with early withdrawals.
  • If you are younger than 59 1/2, you may be able to withdraw some funds from your 401(k) account to pay for medical expenses. While all withdrawals are subject to income taxes, some amounts withdrawn may be exempt from the 10% tax penalty.

Other questions? Once again, for complete details about how a terminal illness affects your ELF benefits, refer to the ELF Health Fund Summary Plan Description and the ELF Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact the ELF Health Department or the ELF Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220 (Outside of New York City)

[1]     The ELF Pension Plan defines “terminal illness” as having a life expectancy of one year or less.

When ELF health coverage ends

When your Equity-League Funds (ELF) health coverage earned through employment ends, you may continue your benefits through self-paid COBRA coverage. You may also wish to explore other coverage available to you through the Health Insurance Marketplaces.

Understanding your options under COBRA

You can extend your benefits for up to 18 months through COBRA – and even longer in some cases. To learn more about your options for continuing your benefits after your regular ELF coverage ends, refer to the pages linked below.

  • COBRA continuation overview
  • Self-Pay Program After COBRA (SPAC)
  • New York State COBRA assistance subsidy

For a complete description of your rights under COBRA, view the Notice of COBRA Continuation Rights. You may also refer to the Health Fund’s Summary Plan Description (SPD) and any modifying Plan changes communicated via Now Playing newsletters.

Finding private coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplaces

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the Health Insurance Marketplaces to help people shop for private health coverage. Some states operate their own Marketplaces. The rest of the states offer one national Marketplace administered by the federal government.

To learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplaces and resources to help you explore your options for Marketplace coverage, please refer to the pages linked below.

  • The Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplaces
  • Affordable Care Act FAQs
  • The Artists’ Health Insurance Resource Center from the Actors Fund