An individual seeking health insurance without a group is a very expensive prospect. By joining one of the groups listed below, you will be able to get insurance at a group rate. Before joining, you can get quotes from different group plans to find the best plan and best deal for you and your situation. Recently here has been a major shift in our governments relationship to health care. The first entry here is based on this new information.
PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)
also known as ObamaCare:
Health reform, which is formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), but also known as Obamacare, has already made changes to health insurance with may more to come. The goals of health reform are to improve the overall quality of care, increase assess to affordable insurance coverage, and control overall US health care costs. And regardless of whether you support health reform, everyone who accesses health care in the US will be impacted by the changes and it is in your best interest to understand how health reform will impact you.
Obamacare is still up and running, however it may be facing possible upcoming changes. Stay tuned.
For an overview of the law and what it means for individuals, families, or employers visit: healthcare.gov. This is the “official” site of health reform. The site has everything from basic information about health reform, to covered preventive health services, to a timeline of changes under the law. In January of 2014, everyone will be required to have health insurance in the US. This Health Insurance Finder: finder.healthcare.gov. will help identify what insurance you may be eligible for (public or private) and how to apply. They have specific information for those who are self-employed as well: healthcare.gov/self-employed/.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has reliable information about health reform and what it means for individuals and families. A few important things they offer:
- Timeline of health reform: kff.org/interactive/implementation-timeline/.
- Frequently Asked Questions About Health Reform: kff.org/health-reform/faq/health-reform-frequently-asked-questions/.
- Health insurance subside calculator: kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/. Enrollment opens is October 2013 for the health insurance marketplace, with coverage beginning is January 2014. The calculator will help you understand if you are eligible for a tax subsidy to offset the cost of insurance. Most individuals who earn up to 400% of the federal poverty level will be eligible to subsidies, with lower income individuals and families receiving a larger subsidy.
American Association of Museums
Offers health insurance to independent curators, consultants, professional staff, volunteers and artists working for museums. Membership is open to anyone, but membership fees vary, from $35-$140 annually, depending on salary range and the nature of affiliation with museums.
The Potters Council (Heath Insurance for Artist)
“With its multiple plans and an extensive network of national providers (over 750,000), insurance through the potters council is one of the most comprehensive health insurance programs available. You must be a member of the Potters Council, for a free quote, please call (866-425-3335).”
College Art Association Group Insurance Plan
Offers health care insurance to members, administered by Wohlers Insurance. Membership is $50 and up for students annually, according to salary. Membership is open to non-students at a higher rate.
Artists’ Health Insurance Resource Center
The mission of AHIRC, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Actors’ Fund of America, is to provide the arts community with the information necessary to make informed choices about individual and small business group health insurance options.
National Association for the Self-Employed
Provides major medical, PPO, and HMO, through several different insurance companies, to members. Membership fees are $72 for Access, $240 for Gold and $360 for Platinum, annually. Membership is open to all; however, health benefits differ from state to state.
Fractured Atlas is a non-profit organization that serves a national community of artists and arts organizations. The programs and services facilitate the creation of art by offering vital support to the artists who produce it. They help artists and arts organizations function more effectively as businesses by providing access to funding, healthcare, education, and more, all in a context that honors their individuality and independent spirit.
Roy Assad, broker, represents nonprofit groups and writes insurance for individual artists.
Small Business Service Bureau
Offers health insurance such as HMOs, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, etc., to members. Membership fees vary by state. Membership is open to any business.
e Health Insurance
A general web page to find many health insurance options.
State of the Art Newspaper (Montana)
An article by James F Brown, National Director of Health Services at The Actors Fund, published in the September/October 2011 issue of State of the Arts. It contains information about how to get healthcare for Montana residents.
Arts and Cultural Council of Greater Rochester
Provides group health insurance to artist members who reside in the New York counties of Monroe, Livingston, Yates, Ontario, Seneca or Wayne. Membership is not limited to artists, but is open to only those living in these counties. Artists can choose from the plans offered by Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield of the Rochester Area. Membership is $100, annually.
New York Artists Equity Association
Offers health insurance to members in New York, New Jersey and southern Florida. Members in all other states can call Mutual of Omaha to determine eligibility for alternative health care plans. Membership is $35 annually. Membership is open to anyone; however, those who are not visual artists cannot vote in association elections.
The AHIRC Directory
Offers health care insurance. Membership is open to anyone interested in the arts.
Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington
Provides health insurance to members in the Washington, D.C., area. Annual dues vary and is open to anyone. Coverage plans are offered through United Healthcare. Rates vary based on the plan.
Texas Fine Arts Association (TFAA)
Offers health insurance to members nationwide. There is access to health, dental and visual.
Here are some questions to ask when comparing plans.
- How many doctors can I choose from?
- Is the network made up of private or group practice physicians?
- Which doctors are accepting new patients?
- Can I change my primary care physician?
- What is the procedure for referrals to specialists?
- How easy is it to get an appointment?
- How far in advance must routine visits be scheduled?
- What arrangements are there for handling emergency care?
- What health care services are offered?
- Are there limits to medical tests, surgery, or other services?
- What happens if a special service is needed but not covered?
- Where are the hospitals serving you located?
- What happens if you’re out of town and need medical attention?
- What is the yearly total for monthly premiums?
- Are there any co-payments? For which services and how much?