If you're a Billboard reader, you may have already seen this Op-Ed by FMC's Alex Maiolo about how the passage of health care reform legislation may impact musicians.
Alex is the program officer for FMC's Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT), which provides free information to musicians curious about their health insurance options. HINT doesn't sell insurance, but it does help demystify a complex topic. Artists can sign up via the HINT website to receive a free phone consultation where they can go over their situation on a case-by-case, state-by state basis with one of our experts (who also happen to be musicians).
FMC has been on top of this issue for the better part of a decade. In 2002, we released a study showing that, out of 2,700 musicians surveyed, 44 percent did not have health insurance — three times the national average. Now that the president has signed health care reform into law, it's even more important to have good data so we can observe outcomes for artists. FMC is currently running a followup survey to get more up-to-date stats. If you're a musician, we'd love it if you took a mere ten minutes (or less!) to answer a few easy questions. Deadline is April 7, so don't dawdle!
The Billboard Op-Ed looks at specific aspects of the bill to see which provisions are likely to have the most impact on musicians. While Alex praises the parts that may improve the situation for artists, he also notes that our work has really just begun. Now that this historic legislation has passed, it's crucial that everyone in the music community pay close attention to make sure that insurance is more available and affordable for musicians.
Artists and creators must recognize how much they, like other Americans, have at stake. Even as we recognize the historic accomplishment of sweeping health care reform, we must keep a close eye on what's working and where there's room for improvement.
Check out the full piece here.
And don't forget to our "Taking the Pulse" survey! It's 100 percent anonymous, and you'll help us be better advocates for musicians.
[Photo by Chhaya Kapadia]