Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Get the HINT

Are you a musician? Do you need advice or information about health insurance? You're not alone. A 2001 Future of Music Coalition survey of 2,700 musicians revealed that the complicated process of obtaining health insurance overwhelmed many of them. This is particularly true for emerging artists – the kind who are just building their careers and are so busy touring and recording that they have little time to think about practical things like health insurance.

FMC has recently launched a web-based portal called HINT – the Health Insurance Navigation Tool. The goal of this project is to provide informed, musician-friendly support and advice to curious musicians who need information about health insurance, for free.

There are two parts to this project: First, there are a number of articles that give an overview of the options available for musicians. The web portal also has links to valuable resources such as Fractured Atlas, the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, The Artists’ Health Insurance Resource Center, among others.

Second, FMC offers a free telephone advice service where musicians and managers can talk to an insurance expert about their situation and get help evaluating their options. For many musicians, half the battle is just cutting through insurance jargon and getting advice that’s based on their own situation. The HINT website portal offers an easy way to schedule a telephone consultation with our health insurance experts, Alex Maiolo and Chris Stephenson (who also happen to be musicians), to discuss the options that best fit their needs.

Health insurance isn’t cheap, and there’s not much we can do about that barrier besides supporting federal policy changes that would inch us closer to universal care. But in the meantime, we can try and address the other obstacles. FMC sees this project as a safety net for those musicians who remain uninsured because of lack of support or clear information. Those musicians who reach out for help will get it.

Services covered in this post: HINT (free)

Visit HINT here.

No comments: