Table of Contents » Chapter 1 : Pre Graduation » Chapter 1 : Health Insurance

Chapter 1 : Health Insurance

Health insurance in the U.S can be difficult to navigate, especially if you are self-employed.

There are four general types of insurance that are private or publicly provided. Medicare (65+ or disability) and Medicaid (income-based assistance) are public programs run by the state and federal government. Employer-based or individually obtained insurance are available in 4 common types of health insurance; HMO, PPO, HSA, and Indemnity Plans.

To further explore the basics of health insurance, check this out.

Information on qualifying for Medicaid can be found here.

*Recently there has been a major shift in our government’s 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:


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as Obamacare, has already made changes to health insurance with many more to come. The goals of health reform are to improve the overall quality of care, increase access to affordable insurance coverage, and control overall US health care costs. Regardless of whether you support health reform, everyone who accesses health care in the US will be impacted by the changes. 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.

Resources and Comparing Plans:

For an overview of the law and what it means for individuals, families, or employers visit: 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. Everyone is required to have health insurance in the US. This Health Insurance Finder: 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:


The Kaiser Family Foundation has reliable information about health reform and what it means for individuals and families. A few important things they offer:

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?

Individual health insurance without a group can be very expensive.  By joining one of the groups listed below, you will be able to get insurance at a group rate. Before joining, request quotes from different group plans to find the best deal for you.


American Association of Museums
Offers health insurance to independent curators, consultants, professional staff, volunteers, and artists working for museums. Must be a member of AAM but membership is open to anyone. 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 potter’s 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.

National Association for the Self-Employed
Provides major medical, PPO, and HMO, through several different insurance companies, to members. Membership fees range from $99 – $540. Membership is open to all; however, health benefits differ from state to state and depending on which membership you have. The membership is not the price of health insurance, but rather provides access to it and many other services.

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.

National General Accident and Health
Offers short-term health insurance for those unpredictable moments in life whether you are between health providers or are looking for stability in a time of transition. It provides the financial protection you need from unexpected medical bills and other health care expenses starting at around $100/mo.

Pick Health Insurance
Compare plans from top insurance providers to compare costs in less than 5 minutes.

Pick Health Insurance
Compare plans from top insurance providers to compare costs in less than 5 minutes.


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, was published in the September/October 2011 issue of State of the Arts. It contains information about how to get healthcare for Montana residents.

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. They also offer other opportunities for artists under “for artists”