The first of the MTV Networks permalancers have started coming to Freelancers Union for health insurance in the face of cuts to their benefits from Viacom. (Read coverage of this story in The New York Times and on Gawker.) If you're one of the workers affected by those changes, here's some quick info on how to get covered by our group plan. The first step is joining Freelancers Union--which is free. We have some basic eligibilty rules for insurance. You must be able to show 20 hours/week of freelance employment for the last 8 weeks or $10,000 in freelance income during the last 6 months. You must work in an eligible industry. (Anyone working for Viacom is covered by the Media/Advertising sector.) You'll also need to show that you actually are a freelancer, as opposed to a regular employee. Getting paid on a W-2 doesn't automatically mean you're not a freelancer. If you have a contract that says you are "project-based," to us, you're a freelancer. When you fill out your eligibility application for insurance, you may have a hard time providing certain documentation, or you may see requirements that seem to disqualify you. If that's the case, contact us and we'll try to help you! We want to get the Viacom permalancers covered. Also, join the Freelancers Union Meetup for the MTV Networks permalancers. It's a new platform for organizing and keeping everyone informed.