In the midst of recent health care changes, musicians can rest assured that they can keep pursuing their art without having to worry about expensive health care coverage or paying a fee for lack of coverage. If you’re a musician in Austin, TX, that is.
Other than love and talent for music, an average income of less than $16,000 per year and an inability to pay for health insurance are two things many Austin musicians have in common. While musicians could easily get a full-time job with insurance or a part-time job to pay for coverage, sometimes a job can come at the sacrifice of their music. And if you know Austin, you know that many of its musicians are passionate about making and performing music full-time, even if they make less than $16,000 a year doing it.
Because live music is such a big part of the Austin community, Carolyn Schwarz thought it was important to support Austin’s musical artists by providing them with affordable health care. That’s why she launched the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) in 2005. Though it doesn’t provide insurance, HAAM connects low income musicians with health care providers offering reduced rates and keeps out-of-pocket costs manageable by paying for extra costs through grants and fundraising. As of 2013, 3,000 Austin musicians have access to HAAM’s benefits.
Learn more about HAAM and other musicians’ experiences with the organization in Austin Musicians Find Unique Solution for Affordable Health Care. And to all of our Austin drummers out there who are struggling to pay for health care coverage, visit www.myhaam.org so that you can keep rocking without worrying about health care costs.