November 16, 2013

Health Insurance for Musicians: 'Obamacare'

by Carl Ellenberger, MD

Like all other artists, musicians are among the Americans most likely to lack health insurance. A recent survey* disclosed that a whopping 55% of musicians don't have it. The majority of those (88%) say they can't afford it. Most of the uninsured are freelancers who, under the current system, would have to buy expensive individual policies. 

Those results suggested to the surveyors that artists "are exactly who the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") was designed to help" and stand to benefit most from because now they can shop for policies on the exchanges or find themselves eligible for Medicaid in their state and not be excluded by pre-existing problems or exorbitant cost. 

Unfortunately, musicians (and non-musicians) also say they are confused by new law, not surprising in view of the well-funded efforts aimed at confusing them. 

In my view, it would be good to try to clear the confusion sometime in the next several months. Despite its recent temporary notoriety, you could do worse than starting at https://www.healthcare.gov.

*The Future of Music Coalition

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