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Producers Guild of America Calls on Industry to Fund Health Insurance Plans for Producers


The Producers Guild of America used the platform of its annual awards ceremony Sunday to launch a drive to help secure health insurance coverage for Hollywood’s working producers. The guild is asking studios, streamers and other large-scale content companies to help fund health insurance for “qualified producers” through line items in TV and film production budgets.

PGA presidents Stephanie Allain and Donald De Line unveiled the health care initiative during their address to the audience at the Hollywood & Highland’s Ray Dolby Ballroom. The push is designed to close the gap between producers and Hollywood’s other creative guilds by giving those who meet PGA criteria easy access to health insurance coverage.

“Producers, unlike unionized creative professionals in the industry, lack guaranteed health insurance benefits. No one should go without these essential benefits. Producing is challenging enough without the added anxiety of wondering how you are going to obtain health coverage for you and your family,” said Allain and De Line.

The PGA said prominent production banners Blumhouse, Berlanti Productions, Legendary and MACRO are among those who have vowed to advocate for producer health insurance in their budgets. The guild is pushing for production entities to make contributions to industry-wide health insurance programs on behalf of PGA-credited producers, or to provide a direct payment as a budget line item to eligible producers to help them buy private insurance.

“Producers are the only group of creative professionals without a union on set, so we have to look out for each other,” said Jason Blum, CEO and founder of Blumhouse. “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.”

There’s no doubt that the drive to add another cost to production budgets that have already spiraled in recent years will be a hard sell at a time when Hollywood’s traditional giants are under extreme financial pressure. The PGA suggests production budgets factor in an additional $3.33 an hour for those producers who need to buy private insurance.

The PGA’s 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 elgible projects.” Per the PGA, insurance would be funded by studios making employee contributions, as they do for plans that cover WGA, DGA, SAG-AFTRA and IATSE members, “through the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan for eligible producers on qualifying productions,” or “for all other producers who can’t access benefits through an existing industry plan or union contract, including a direct payment line item in their production budgets for producers to purchase their own health insurance.”

Unlike the other guilds, the PGA is not a collective bargaining unit nor does it negotiate contracts with Hollywood’s major studios, because most hands-on film and TV producers function as managers with the authority to hire and fire.

“The Producers Guild Healthcare Initiative is an opportunity for our industry to rally behind producers and pave the way for future generations,” said Allain and De Line. “We applaud Blumhouse, Legendary, MACRO and Berlanti Productions for taking this groundbreaking first step, and encourage all production companies across the industry to join us in this essential movement.”

The PGA’s focus on generating health insurance solutions for members was sparked by efforts undertaken by member Harvey Wilson. Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher, the guild’s immediate past presidents, also championed health insurance as a cause for the guild during their 2018-2022 tenure at the helm.

(Pictured: PGA presidents Stephanie Allain and Donald De Line)