Saturday, March 11, 2017

Finding Artist's Health Insurance post ObamaCare.

Van Gogh Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear

One of the blessings of ObamaCare was that allowed many artists to set up shop on their own. 
There was a great deal of lip-service before the election about spiraling student debt, and with the almost certainty of a Clinton victory, little worry about having access to health insurance for the self-employed artist. Both of these hopeful scenarios have been blasted out of the water. As a self-employed artist, before ObamaCare I know how difficult and expensive health insurance was. I, like many others mostly went without. A hairdresser I know, who could not afford health insurance had a plan for this. She put everything on her credit cards, food. a new car and doctors visits and went bankrupt. They could not take her home, and her car nor her food- so she felt she had a cushion until she was eligible for  Medicare.

Now it will again be a HUUUUGE problem as El Trumpo and the Republicans are "retooling", "dismantling", (pick your poison), the ACA, there is no guarantee artists will have any. My suggestions are of course besides leaving the country ( if I were young enough it would be a consideration) I would consider countries of the EU or Canada. In the US look to states that have expanded Medicare under ObamaCare. Those are the most likely to have affordable policies. Massachusetts is a safe bet because ObamaCare is modeled after its program and I think it will continue there, If you are unmarried and living with a partner you can get on his/hers in states that accept common-law marriage.
You can of course stay on your parent's insurance until you are 26 (currently) but if you get married you cannot. You can stay on your parents plan even if you are not living at home and in another state, even living with but NOT MARRIED to your companion. Another option is finding a local Chamber of Commerce and joining for their group plan. That is what I did for years.

This is an informative site for health insurance for self-employed artists of all kinds though it says music. As I said because the portending changes in ObamaCare things will change.

Your best bet- move to Massachusetts:

Here is  list of great places for artists to live more cheaply and thrive, one of them is New Bedford Mass, much, much cheaper than Boston and its surrounding cities.
Listed also  is Providence- home to one of the best bargains in art schools- RI college (has its own health insurance program while you are in school). A Massachusetts site

I will try to update this as this painful scenario unfolds. One take-away from this is try to keep art school debt under control. I have tried to outline some reasons and tips in this post:

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