Jazz musicians, whose occupation requires that they spend much of their time in traveling, are particularly vulnerable to health problems and the costs they entail. Often, the expenses resulting from a serious illness can be catastrophic.
Photographer Lynn Redmile wrote recently on Facebook to remind us that the Open Enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for coverage in 2018 is a mere six weeks this fall, between November 1, 2017 and December 15, 2017.
As confirmed by The Syncopated Times, the advertising budget for the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) has been reduced by 90 percent, so there will be no reminders to enroll on TV or radio. Musicians, or indeed anyone else who has not secured medical insurance for next year, should remember to sign up during November or early December.
There are numerous instances of jazz musicians who endured long illnesses and were required to rely on fundraising to meet expenses. According to the Sweet Relief Musicians’ Fund, “The choice an individual makes to be a professional musician is one of sacrifice,” with an average income of “less than $25,000 annually. Over 65 percent of professional musicians do not have health insurance.”
Those requiring coverage for the remainder of 2017 (owing to loss of other coverage, getting married, or having a baby) may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. For more information, please visit www.healthcare.gov.