Musicians without health insurance can run into huge problems on the road. When they get sick or injured, many of them simply can’t see a doctor because they can’t afford treatment.
FMC's survey, "Taking the Pulse"
According to a recent study by the Future of Music Coalition, 33 percent of the 1,451 musicians polled said that they did not have health insurance. Eighty-six percent of those people said that the reason they aren’t insured is because they can’t afford it.
Luckily, there are some organizations working to make health care accessible for musicians. The FMC created an online tutorial program called HINT (Health Insurance Navigation Tool) and also offers free consultations over the phone.
Rock for Health founder Kristina Grossman
Another group trying to gain awareness for this problem is Rock For Health, a non-profit organization created by Kristina Grossman, a former Warped Tour employee. Grossman found that when she got strep throat while on Warped Tour with Bayside, she had an incredibly difficult time getting proper medical attention. Grossman claims that doctors took one look at her tattoos and piercings and automatically assumed she was “non-compliant” (i.e., unable to afford a consultation). Grossman was eventually given attention, but only after having her mother, who is a practicing nurse, speak with the doctors.
Free health care for Every Avenue, courtesy of Rock for Health
The experience both infuriated and enlightened Grossman, who took a proactive approach to raising awareness for a problem affecting her friends and co-workers. Rock for Health was born in attempts to educate and advocate for musicians on health care issues. They are always accepting donations, which are used to fund benefit shows, health care fees and research on the effects of singing and touring on musicians’ vocal chords.
RFH also helps to raise money directly for artists’ health insurance by holding auctions for fan prizes. In this way, fans can help sponsor health care for their favorite artists, which have included Every Avenue, Set Your Goals and OurStage artist NeverShoutNever.
Donating to health care organizations such as Rock For Health will help keep your favorite artists healthy, happy and ready to rock. For more information on current health care plans, visit http://rockforhealth.org/mission/.