Musicians and Health Care

The health care debate is in full swing, and musicians, particularly freelance musicians, have a substantial investment in the outcome of legislation toward affordable health care.

A 2002 survey of musicians conducted by the Future of Music Coalition found that 44 percent of respondents did not have health insurance. The statistics are not surprising for those familiar with the typical here-today-gone-tomorrow, multiple-employer, short-term-employment careers of freelance musicians:

  General Population
 Musicians Surveyed
 percent uninsured
 percent of insured with employer-paid plan
 percent of insured that are self-insured

Not only are musicians more likely than the general population to have health insurance, those that do have insurance are less likely to receive insurance through their employer. And the numbers are likely worse in south Florida, as Florida is fourth in the nation in the percentage of uninsured (and the number of uninsured in Miami-Dade county is nearly double the national rate).

Current options for health care for freelance musicians are limited, as efforts to pool musicians together to increase their bargaining power in the insurance market have generally been unsuccessful. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that health-care coverage for an average family has risen 138 percent in the past ten years, to $13,375 per year. The cost is expected to rise to $30,083, more than many musicians' salaries, by 2019.

Options for Musicians in South Florida



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