The ART of Affordable Care

Health Insurance. Everyone needs it, but most don’t fully understand it. (Myself included!) In March 2010 the Affordable Care Act was passed into law, which put into place comprehensive health insurance reforms aiming to decrease the price of health care and insurance premiums. This is particularly needed for seniors with health emergencies that have very little money at their disposal. For instance, a visit to the dentist can get very expensive very quickly, even for any age group. It is for this reason that a lot of people end up switching health insurance providers when the costs of insurance start to spiral out of control. There are other solutions too. For example, one way seniors can avoid bad surprises is by signing up with a discount plan. Let’s Say Thanks reviewed the best options available and offer comparisons in terms of price and value, with goals to help the elderly population regarding dental hygiene, considering our mouth goes through a lot. The open enrollment period for the ACA, lasting from October 2013 through March 31, 2014, and coverage beginning as early as January 2014, there has definitely been no shortage of questions and concerns. On the other hand, if you look some thousand miles away in Australia, the private health care sector is booming. Both for providers and for their clients. iSelect (iselect.com.au for more information) is one of the biggest in Australia who has been providing health insurance for many years.

To help shed some light on the subject and share how artists can take advantage of new coverage, the Greater Hartford Arts Council put together The ART of Affordable Care. These free workshops provided basic facts about what the Affordable Care Act and Connecticut’s new insurance marketplace means for individuals and small businesses, especially artists and all those in the creative sector in our region.

Held in December, one workshop took place at the New Britain Museum of American Art and the other at MCC on Main. David Desiderato from the Universal Healthcare Foundation of Connecticut presented with the help of Danielle Williams and additional outreach staff from Access Health CT. Danielle, an artist in her own right, was especially excited to partner with the Arts Council to share information with local artists and arts organizations. In-Person Assistors from the Hartford Public Library were on hand to answer one-on-one questions and schedule individual enrollment appointments. With all these resources nearly every attendee was able to get clarification and specific information according to their own circumstances.

Danielle Williams, Consumer Outreach and Engagement Manager for Access Health CT - New Britain Museum of American Art, December 2013
Danielle Williams, Consumer Outreach and Engagement Manager for Access Health CT

How useful were these workshops? Just ask Tracey Mozdzierz , Managing Director of the Judy Dworin Performance Project. “The event was very helpful,” said Tracy, “Since we employ many part-time artists and we are too small to provide medical benefits to anyone on staff, I distributed the information and gave our company better contact information based on attending your workshop. The list of what insurance information that you need to reference (i.e. current or past policy details) prior to contacting Access Health CT was extremely helpful.” Stephen Hard, Executive Director of the Greater New Britain Arts Alliance also was pleased with the information given. “The Greater Hartford Arts Council’s information sessions targeting the needs of artists and arts organizations could not be more important. The problem we all face is not a dearth of information, but figuring out what information is pertinent and timely. By the selection of topics and presenters the GHAC does that excellently.”

Thank you to those that participated and attended! The Arts Council is always looking for ways to connect the local creative community with the resources and information needed to succeed. For upcoming workshops please visit www.letsgoarts.org/Workshops and to stay informed sign up for ArtsScoop, our monthly e-newsletter for the artists and arts and culture organizations in Greater Hartford.

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