Healthy Artists Make More Art – Get Covered!

We’re past November 1st, which means it’s time to get health insurance coverage for 2016. Enrollment is open for insurance coverage across the country, whether you are searching on the site, or your state has an individual marketplace set up. And artists need health coverage – whether you are a visual artist in a studio or a performing artist on a stage or a musician playing a show, your ability to make a living and a life as an artist is often dependent on having a healthy body and mind. 

In my role as the director of health programs at Springboard for the Arts, I’ve seen firsthand how health problems can affect an artists’ career. I’ve also seen how if artists are equipped with information and provided with an entryway into the health care and health insurance systems, artists can thrive. It’s why Springboard has run programs connecting artists to community clinics and healthcare providers for almost the last 10 years, and why we are currently navigators for MNsure in our home state of Minnesota. 
One of the barriers we often encounter is how daunting insurance terminology can be. We want artists to feel empowered that they have the right information to look for and understanding when looking at health insurance coverage. To that end, we partnered with SteppingStone Theater, People’s Center Health Services and health insurance provider UCare to create a short video around health insurance terminology. It’s by artists, for artists, and we hope it helps you as you start your journey to getting covered. 

The resources are out there, from taking care of yourself individually, to creating access for others to health resources. Use the website to find plans for yourself. Get more insurance resources from the Artist Health Insurance Resource Center from The Actor’s Fund or insurance plans from Fractured Atlas. Use the toolkits from Springboard for the Arts to create programs for an Artists’ Health Fair, or for a Voucher Program to connect to community clinics.
There are also many artists who are working on issues of health and community care across the country to take inspiration from. Here on Creative Exchange, you can read profiles The Porchlight Project in Philadelphia, Reach Studios at RedLine in Denver, Teatro Visión in San Jose, the work of Artist Organizer Heather Zinger in Fergus Falls, MN. 
The time is now to get covered – for you and your creative future!
Nikki Hunt has managed the Artists’ Access to Healthcare (AAH) program, winner of the 2010 Minnesota Social Entrepreneurs Cup, since its inception in 2006. In her role as program director for health at Springboard for the Arts, she develops programs that connect artists to health resources.  She is a certified Navigator for MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace, and author of the Guide to Healthcare for Minnesota Artists. Nikki also oversees Springboard’s Emergency Relief Fund, a program that provides guidance and small monetary assistance to artists experiencing catastrophic emergencies. A visual artist, specializing in oil painting, Hunt is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a degree in both Studio Art and Art History.