This month marks the 6th year anniversary of LA Direct Model’s policy of subsidizing performers tests. This is a big deal because they are the only agency doing this. I really have to give Derek Hay credit for this. It’s innovative and still, after all these years, no other agency is doing it to help their girls.
Simply put, when a director calls to book one of his girls, Derek Hay charges them a $20 testing subsidy fee, of which he pays the girl to help them defray the cost of their required bi-weekly STD tests.
A few months ago, another author looked into the cost of the test. It works out to be $165 for CET ($155 at TTS) every 2 weeks. That means that just to be able to show up on set a girl must pay $330 a month.
Recently industry insiders began talking on XBIZ, about why health insurance doesn’t cover the cost of performer tests. Turns out the answer is a little complicated. First and foremost there are the added administrative fees, of which no insurance would ever pay for. I’m not sure if these admin fees are PASS related or TTS/CET related. And if they are TTS/CET related, I understand everyone needs to make a profit, the whole point of being in business is to make a profit. But if in fact, these fees are FFS/PASS related, then I’m not okay with that. We were always told the PASS system would not ever cost the performers anything. If in fact, they are collecting fees there needs to be some serious oversight in this area.
Another problem with insurance covering our test costs is the fact that bi-weekly testing isn’t deemed medically necessary. Your doctor might be able to argue the need for monthly tests beacuse of a high level of sexual activity. But it’s highly unlikely insurance companies will go for STD tests every two weeks.
If you had a doctor to order the tests, then from what I understand, yes, insurance would cover these costs. However, they will only cover the actual cost of the test, now the added “administrative” fees.
I only found out about these extra fees by accident. A few years ago a porn star went into a TTS location and got tested. She didn’t mention that she was a porn star. The performer panel ended up costing something like $20 cheaper. Later she was told that test “didn’t count”. Why? Because it wasn’t ordered in the right way, even though it was the EXACT same test. The only thing different between the test she got and the one normally porn stars take is the extra $20 she wasn’t charged.
So back at XBIZ, another agent started talking about how companies like Mindgeek and Gamma should cover the entire cost of testing.
Seriously? It’s their sole responsibility to cover testing for the entire industry? REALLY?! What about Wicked Pictures or any of the other countless production companies?
Sure Mindgeek and Gamma should help pay for the tests, but so should every other producer. Why is it their sole responsibility to cover the cost?
Mindgeek pays I think something like $10,000 – $20,000 a month to the FSC, of which the FSC then splits up and sends out as reimbursements each month, to help porn stars cover the cost of testing. That’s in addition to their initial $120,000 donation to set it all up in the first place.
As far as I know, people like Brad Armstrong and Axel Braun of Wicked Pictures don’t pay a dime into the performer subsidy fund. What about Mike Quasar or Zero Tolerance? They don’t pay dick either.
The FSC “Performer Subsidy Fund” was initiated in 2012 and paid out $120,000 in donations made by Mindgeek directly to performers in 2017. According to the FSC 100% of the funds contributed to the PSF are divided into equal portions, and dispersed to each enrolled performer based on the number of times they tested through PASS during that month. Performers are paid per the number of times tested. If a performer tests twice in one month he/she will receive a subsidy for two tests. The amount will vary from month to month, depending on how many performers tested each month, how often, and how many requested subsidies.
Going back to what got me started on this post, LA Direct Models is the only talent agency that charges producers a $20 testing fee. This $20 per scene may not seem like much but over time it helps. If a girl works 10 times in a month, she’ll be paid $200 to help cover the cost of her bi-weekly tests. The more you work, the more this helps a performer. So why aren’t every agency doing this?
Every agent was invited to take part in this.
Every agent turned it down because they didn’t want to piss off producers.
Yes, this includes OC Modeling, Spiegler, Ideal Image Models, VIP Connect, Matrix Models, etc.
An agent should look out for the welfare of his performers and it is for this year I wanted to take a moment and say congrats to Derek Hay of LA Direct Models. For the last 6 years, you stood your ground and collected that $20 performer subsidy. Testing is expensive and so far not many are willing to do anything about it.