Musicians Health Insurance
In the 2001 FMC survey, 2,700 musicians reported that they were having a hard time obtaining health insurance. Out of that amount, 44% were uninsured (1,188 musicians) and 76% of that number couldn’t afford insurance (902 musicians). The remainder was either confused about the different plans, didn’t know where to start, or thought it was a waste of money.
Employed Musician Health Plans
If you are a musician and are working for an employer as well, take advantage of any health insurance group plans that are available. The bigger the corporation you work for, the better the benefits offered.
Individual Coverage for the Musically Inclined
Thorough research is needed before deciding to go with any individual insurance plan. You will want to make sure that you are paying the lowest rate while still getting the best coverage possible.
Health Plans at Record Companies
Signed to a big record label? Then you may already be eligible for coverage. That’s if you are with the top 5 record labels in the nation. In 2003, an agreement was brokered between them and AFTRA to benefit up-and-coming artists.
If you’re on a smaller label that doesn’t offer health care options, speak with your attorney about adding that in the contract. Both you and the record label benefit from health insurance being included in your contract. It prevents a crisis from occurring, and you’ll be able to schedule appointments as necessary. Worse case scenario, buy your own insurance (or join a musician's union).
Incorporate Your Band
By incorporating your band, you’ll be qualified as a small business and will be open to the same options as other minor companies. You can also write off any health insurance premiums on your tax returns.
AFTRA (and offered with musician unions, PROs and other advocacy groups)
To qualify for one of the two AFTRA Health and Retirement Fund options, you must have made between $10,000-$30,000 in the last four consecutive calendar quarters or less for union gigs.
Provides musicians, but not dependents with:
Loss of Voice