Remember back in March 2010 when we told you about FMC’s “Taking the Pulse” survey, which aimed to find out how many musicians currently have health insurance, how they’re covered, and if not, the reasons why?
Well, we’re done crunching the numbers and we’ve published the study. You can read the executive summary and the full report here.
“Taking the Pulse” found that, of the 1,451 respondents, 33 percent said they do not have health insurance. This is nearly twice the national average of 17 percent uninsured, as estimated by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Back in 2002, we conducted a similar survey that’s been widely cited for years. With the topic front-and-center for much of 2009 and 2010, we thought it was a perfect time to take another snapshot of artists’ level of coverage. While we were running the latest survey, Congress passed the Affordable Health Care Act, which instituted a number of new protections, tax credits and safety nets for citizens. But, because of this law, health insurance is no longer an option — by 2014, most Americans will be required to secure coverage.
Which means that now we’re going to have to start looking at the best ways for musicians to obtain health insurance. This survey helps us get a better picture of where we stand right now, so that we can be better positioned to make sure the reforms are working for artists as the various components are enacted.
Here’s what FMC Education Director Kristin Thomson had to say about the study:
“The data suggests that cost and lack of awareness are still major reasons why many musicians are uninsured. 86 percent the musicians taking our survey who don’t have coverage say it’s because they can’t afford it. But our experience advising musicians through our Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT) program has also shown us that some musicians who think they can’t afford coverage may not be aware of all the public and private health insurance options available to them.”
Again, you should check out “Taking the Pulse” to get a fuller sense of how the results break down.
And speaking of HINT, we wanted to remind you that on Friday, May 28, an impressive array of North Carolina musicians will come together at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC to celebrate the life and music of Alex Chilton — the legendary Big Star and Boxtops front man who passed away in March 2010, and who did not have health insurance. The all-star show, which features our very own health insurance expert/rocker Alex Maiolo, will also benefit HINT.
And last but not least, check out this video our panel on health insurance and musicians from our D.C. Policy Day, which took place on May 25, 2010.