Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Follow up on Health Insurance posting
At the end of August, I invited you dear readers to take a health insurance survey (August Health Insurance Posting). To jog your memory, this survey was aimed to independent artists, creatives, etc. that don't have health insurance. Well, the results are in! To summarize the highlights:
The survey found that:
Of the 3,402 artist respondents, 43 percent do not currently have health insurance. This is more than double the national estimate of 18 percent uninsured (ages 0-64), as calculated by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Of those respondents who do have health insurance (N=1927), 39 percent said they are paying for coverage themselves. This is over six times greater than the estimated 6 percent of the general population that pays for private, non-group insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Of uninsured respondents, the vast majority – 88% – say that the primary reason that they don’t have insurance is that they can’t afford it.
Visit this page, or read the executive summary, full report, or slide deck for a lot more details, including specifics about levels of insurance by artistic discipline, income strata, age, and location, and respondents' feelings about the changes in the health insurance landscape.
If you are an artist who seeks information about health insurance or the Affordable Care Act, check out http://health.futureofmusic.org. This site provides links to an artist-friendly FAQ, resources, events and seminars, and a staffed hotline where artists of any type — musicians, composers, dancers, theatre actors, visual artists, filmmakers, literary artists, and more -- can call for advice and guidance.
During this time where there is so much discussion around how healthcare.gov is unable to work properly and the alleged lies told by the Obama administration, there still cannot be any denial as to the need of so many Americans to get health insurance, and the obstacle of cost that is standing in the way. When you see these numbers of so many more people (just from the survey even!) than expected that don't have health insurance, you can see why the demand was so much more than expected. Does that mean we need to forgive the broken website? No. But it does explain how they could have built something that didn't meet the demand that was truly out there.
It's not a sign that the government providing healthcare options was a bad idea. If anything, it confirms that is was indeed something that people needed and wanted. Now, we just need to ensure it works as well as everyone needs it to, so that our fellow creatives can get the affordable healthcare they really need and want.