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Porn Stars Get Group Health Care

May 20, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Performers in adult films may seem to be in a risky business, but a large managed-care company has decided to provide them with group health care.

The Free Speech Coalition, the trade association for the pornography industry, has entered a deal with Los Angeles-based Maxicare Health Plans to provide insurance coverage to some 500 actors and technicians, coalition Executive Director Jeffrey Douglas said Tuesday.

Before the deal, which gives X-rated actors the kind of benefits mainstream actors have, porn industry workers had to purchase pricier, individual plans for anything other than eye or dental care, Douglas said.

``As of three years ago, you could not get any group insurance _ health, liability or otherwise, for anything associated to the adult entertainment business,″ Douglas said.

It’s a business that pulled in $4.2 billion in video sales in 1997 and is estimated to make $10 billion annually, including exotic dancing, magazine subscriptions and mail order sales, according to Adult Video News, the industry trade magazine based in Van Nuys.

Thomas Franco, a spokesman for Maxicare, which serves 540,000 people in seven states, said the agreement was a business deal and ``not an endorsement″ of the industry.

Since April, major producers of heterosexual porn videos have required actors to wear condoms. Greg Zeboray, who works with the coalition’s insurance branch, said actors and actresses are tested every 30 days for HIV.

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