Musicians and Health CareThe 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||14||44 |
| percent of insured with employer-paid plan||64||37 |
| percent of insured that are self-insured||8||25 |
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
- MusicPro Insurance offers quotes for insurance plans through eHealthInsurance:
- The Future of Music Coalition Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT) offers musician-friendly articles and confidential 30-minute phone consultations with health insurance experts who are also musicians:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida offers health insurance for individuals and families:
- MedMore offers discount medical services (not insurance) at affordable rates:
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