Thursday, October 11, 2007

Grant shows artists need for health insurance

The New York Times ran an interesting article yesterday that detailed how 50 artists spent $50,000 grants from United States Artists. USA is a new organization that tries to fill the gap for individual artist funding, as opposed to grants for organizations. Not surprisingly, more than 60 percent said they spent part of their money on art supplies, while 48 percent spent part of the money on housing and meals.

What was really surprising is that 26 percent said they spent part of the funds on health care. In fact, Wesley McNair, a 68-year old poet that received a grant, had put off buying eyeglasses because he didn't have the funds. Lourdez Perez, a singer and songwriter, had put off going to the doctor, so she used part of the money for a visit.

It may come as a surprise to many musicians, but there are health insurance options out there even if you aren't employed full time. FMC runs its HINT hotline to help artists scope out such options. Musicians can call up and get a half hour appointment to discuss various health insurance plans with a fellow musician, who is also a health insurance expert. The best part is it's free and confidential.

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