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Ben Eyestone Fund

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 18, 2018) — The Ben Eyestone Fund, a joint effort between Music Health Alliance and Saint Thomas Health, announces it will provide a menu of services for preventative and primary care (application here). The newly-created fund will serve un-insured or under-insured music industry professionals in Davidson and surrounding counties within Middle Tennessee earning an adjusted gross income under 300% above the Federal Poverty Level who show an obvious diagnostic need.

The Ben Eyestone Fund is launching with $70,000 in contributions from Saint Thomas Foundation, Music Health Alliance, the Eyestone family and generous industry peers including Dierks Bentley, Elizabeth Cook and Yazoo Brewing Company.

As shared in The Tennessean , the fund is created in memory of East Nashville musician Ben Eyestone, who would have celebrated his 29th birthday last month. The drummer for alternative acts Margo Price, Nikki Lane and The Lonely H’s died on July 12, 2017; days after a delayed biopsy delivered a diagnosis of advanced colon cancer. Referred to as an “untimely death,” it was a tragic and preventable passing of a rising star due to a healthcare system that failed him.

“He had what I believe to be the greatest pre-existing condition in Nashville,” says Music Health Alliance Founder and CEO Tatum Hauck Allsep. “He was a poor, uninsured musician. Ben tried to utilize the resources available to him at free clinics and two public hospitals but the healthcare system failed Ben at every single turn.”

As industry advocates, helping music professionals across the country gain access to affordable healthcare is at the heart of Music Health Alliance’s mission. The launch of the Ben Eyestone Fund furthers that mission by removing barriers to life-saving diagnostics and treatment.

“The goal is to offer 100% access and get all diagnostics covered while eliminating all the same barriers that ultimately led to Ben’s death,” says Allsep.

“We are honored to partner with Music Health Alliance, an influential organization that helps to provide necessary care to the poor and vulnerable,” said Dawn Rudolph, chief experience officer, Saint Thomas Health. “The Ben Eyestone fund has the potential to save lives by eliminating access barriers in the communities we serve.”

“Ben was only 28 years old,” said Allsep. “Freddie Mercury was 29 when he wrote ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ Neil Diamond was 28 when he wrote ‘Sweet Caroline,’ Dolly Parton was 28 when she wrote ‘I Will Always Love You,’ and Paul McCartney was a few days older than Ben was when he wrote ‘Hey Jude?’ Think about the potential this young man had yet to discover. Ben Eyestone did not have to die, and this fund will ensure that no one else dies a victim of the same system that failed him.”

To learn more about the Ben Eyestone Fund and how to contribute, contact Music Health Alliance at (615) 200-6896. Link to Ben Eyestone Fund Application

About Music Health Alliance

As advocates, Music Health Alliance fights so those in our industry never have to feel alone in a health crisis. The seven-person team at Music Health Alliance remove obstacles so patients can receive lifesaving care. Thanks to the direct efforts of Music Health Alliance, members of the music community across the country have gained access to lifesaving heart and liver transplants, medications to treat Parkinson’s, end of life care and many other necessary services. In its first five years of service, Music Health Alliance has saved over $30 million in medical bills and reduced premiums and served over 8,000 people in the music community. Its services are free to any person who has worked in the music industry for two or more years, or who has credited contributions to 4 commercially released recordings or videos. Spouses, partners, and children of qualifying individuals may also receive access to the non-profit’s services from birth to end of life.

 Contact Music Health Alliance at 615-200-6896 or info@musichealthalliance.com and learn more at MusicHealthAlliance.com.


In Tennessee, Ascension’s Saint Thomas Health operates nine hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 68-county area and employ more than 8,000 associates.  Across the state, Saint Thomas Health provided more than $92 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2017.  Serving Tennessee for 15 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable.  Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.sthealth.com.


Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2017, Ascension provided more than $1.8 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 150,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers. Ascension’s Healthcare Division operates 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 22 states and the District of Columbia, while its Solutions Division provides a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.




Nashville, TN — September 18, 2017 — Music Health Alliance, the music industry’s healthcare advocate, announced today several new hires, promotions and the expansion of group health insurance options at the Nashville-based non-profit.

Joining the company are Bonita Allen and Allison Klein. Allen, whose previous stops include BMI, MCA, Bluewater Music and Westwood One, joins MHA as Director of Advocacy, Insurance & Client Services. She can be reached at bonita@musichealthalliance.com. Klein, whose background includes digital marketing and brand management, joins MHA as Director of Advocacy, Insurance & Marketing. She will oversee marketing services for the 501c3 in addition to client advocacy and individual health insurance needs and can be reached at Allison@musichealthalliance.com.

“As the need for MHA’s programs and services continues to grow at a record setting pace, I am thrilled to announce these additions,” said Music Health Alliance CEO and Founder, Tatum Hauck Allsep. “Bonita brings more than 35 years of music and entertainment experience as well as a sincere compassion and a wealth of health care knowledge. While Allison’s background in digital strategy, sponsorships and marketing will add a new dimension to MHA’s communications as we grow, it’s her inherent love for helping others and resourceful nature that make her a great advocate addition. They both bring MHA closer to our mission to Heal the Music each and every day.”

Kimberly Dunn, MHA Director of Group Health, is spearheading an expansion of Music Health Alliance’s Group Health division, ensuring that the small businesses of the music industry have an experienced, not-for-profit advocate on their side.  Kimberly has been with MHA since its founding and she has seen first-hand the immense need for small businesses to have a trusted advocate. Her job does not stop with enrollment – she continues to act as an advocate to all employees on group plans from birth to end of life to ensure that all of their healthcare needs are met.

“I am so excited that MHA can meet the HUGE need for group health insurance in our industry and there is no one better to lead this expansion than Kimberly Dunn,” said Allsep. “Kimberly’s simplifies the group health insurance process in the same way that MHA has done in the individual health insurance world, by focusing on the facts and removing all of the smoke and mirrors as the only not-for-profit advocate in this arena.”

Several members of the Music Health Alliance team have received promotions and new titles to represent updated roles and responsibilities as the company readies for open enrollment, Medicare signups and October 20’s Heal The Music Day. MHA Founder Tatum Hauck Allsep adds CEO responsibilities while Certified Senior Advisor® Shelia Shipley Biddy is elevated to COO. Taylor Clay is promoted to the position of Director of Advocacy & Insurance for the non-profit.

As advocates, Music Health Alliance fights so those in our industry never have to feel alone in a health crisis. The eight-person team at Music Health Alliance remove obstacles so patients can receive lifesaving care. Thanks to the direct efforts of Music Health Alliance, members of the music community across the country have gained access to lifesaving heart and liver transplants, medications to treat Parkinson’s, end of life care and many other necessary services. Since 2013, Music Health Alliance has saved over $17 million dollars in medical bills and reduced premiums and served over 5,800 people in the music community. Its services are free to any person who has worked in the music industry for two or more years, or who has credited contributions to 4 commercially released recordings or videos. Spouses, partners, and children of qualifying individuals may also receive access to the non-profit’s services from birth to end of life. Learn more at MusicHealthAlliance.com.
# # #

For Music Health Alliance press contact:
Heather Conley / Monarch Publicity / 615-202-5070 / heather.conley@monarchpublicity.com

Real Deacon Claybournes struggle to pay for healthcare


Tennessean – Real Deacon Claybournes struggle to pay for health care

A Tale of Two Deacons – A True Story About Deacon Claybourne in Nashville, TN

As a fan of ABC’s Nashville, I was heartbroken as a doctor frantically tried to resuscitate Deacon Claybourne during a life-saving liver transplant at the end of last season. Great story, right?! But there is a very real piece of this plot line that has been grossly overlooked. How is the real-world musician Deacon paying for this complicated surgery, including the cost of medication, rehabilitation and harvesting his sister’s liver. And based on current music industry statistics, it’s unlikely Deacon even has health insurance to cover these costs.

As the founder of Music Health Alliance, a non-profit that provides free services including healthcare access to clients like Deacon every day, this story is more than just a cliffhanger; it’s real life. It represents a surprisingly huge deficit within the entertainment industry that needs the attention of Nashville, our city whose vibrant foundation flourishes from the fruits of creative business. Despite the perceived prosperity of this industry, fame does not always equal fortune.

On ABC’s Nashville, Deacon is a self-employed singer songwriter who co-wrote a string of hits for Rayna James in the early ‘90’s, and recently joined Luke Wheeler on tour before discovering he has liver cancer.

Deacon Claybourne’s Projected 2015 Income:

Songwriting Mechanical Royalties (6 top 10 songs, 1993-1997)$10,055.36

Songwriting Performance Royalties (6 top 10 songs, 1993-1997$12,202.00

Digital Royalties (6 top 10 songs, 1993-1997) $387.27

Touring Musician Income (25 shows) $9625.00

TOTAL $32,269.63

Deacon’s Songwriter and Touring Income for 2015 is 277% above the Federal Poverty level. As a result, he is not eligible for financial assistance from any Nashville area hospitals.

Now let’s take a look at the cost of Deacon’s healthcare:

Liver Transplant $739,100.00

Liver Donor Surgery $148,000.00

Code Blue during Transplant $44,180.00

TOTAL $931,280.00

Figures from the Milliman Research Report’s 2014 Organ and Tissue Transplant Costs and Baptist Memorial Healthcare’s Cost Calculator. Totals do not include medications, travel or complications post surgery.

The truth is Deacon Claybourne would be uninsured and unable to provide the typically required six-figure down payment for this kind of procedure. He would be bankrupted by medical bills or, even worse, unable to have surgery in the first place. Like Deacon, most of the music industry is self-employed, resulting in a deficit in healthcare coverage and protection against illness and injury. The crisis management norm in our industry is to pass the bucket to help cover emergency medical costs, leading to a perpetual cycle that leaves our music makers vulnerable, impacting the longevity of their careers and the vitality of our industry.

Music Health Alliance is working to break this cycle. In only 2.5 years we’ve served over 2,000 clients. The real stories from our “Deacons” who have been served by Music Health Alliance:

A Southern Rock artist given a death sentence because he had no health insurance is now able to receive treatment for liver cancer and is awaiting a liver transplant.

A Grammy winner eating rice and reusing disposable diapers because he could not afford his Parkinson’s medication. MHA quickly determined he received incorrect information from several pharmacies. Now he has income to meet his needs and access to all of his medicines.

A booking agent with a traumatic brain injury and hospital bill totaling $1.5 million didn’t have access to rehabilitation. Through MHA’s services, he now has a $0 balance hospital bill and access to nationwide treatment options.

If the writers of Nashville really want to pull Deacon Claybourne out of the cliffhanger, they should call Music Health Alliance.


The First & The Worst on April 1


Huge THANKS to the sponsors and in-kind donors of this event including:

  • Firestone/Bridgestone
  • Larry McDonnell
  • City National Bank
  • Hackney Wealth Advisors
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Country Aircheck
  • Nekst.Biz
  • Aristo PR
  • Bellevue MedSpa
  • Little Big Town
  • Simon James Photography
  • Taylor Swift
  • Brian Nash Pet Photography
  • Knit It Real Good
  • Blackhawk/The Outlaws
  • Langford Barksdale Art
  • Wrinkled Records
  • IndustrialLighting

This would not be possible without your generous support.  Many thanks!



Billy Block Returns to The Sutler to Benefit Music Health Alliance



October 14th, The Billy Block show will return to The Sutler. 19th strong year in Nashville and we are going back to our roots.

Billy Block has played with everyone from Billy Joe Shaver to Frank Black (The Pixies) and has hosted many local and nationally touring artists on his stage . The Billy Block show is regaining its momentum and stature as it continues to grow on the old and young.

We want to personally invite you to see this legendary show. It is the culmination of the old Nashville we all love and remember with its Americana inspired sound and its Western Beat, while at the same time playing host to that fresh, emerging sound that is defining new Nashville.

Billy is excited to once again roll out the Billy Block Show at the Sutler and showcase these talented, budding artists on this classic, Nashville stage.

You will not want to miss these performances:

Danika Portz and her knock-you-on-your-ass pipes have gained the attention of IRS records whose execs are sure to be in attendance.

Seth Ennis can seriously draw a crowd. Something about this simple, American made, military raised boy has gained the attention of fans and labels alike.

Girl next door, pro-cheerleader, Baylor Wilson can not only sing, she can write. Literally everyone who hears her, loves her. Literally. (like…literally).

You haven’t heard of them? Seriously? Little Honey may be brand spankin new, but their latest youtube cover is spreading like wild fire!

Rocky Block.  Taking after his father in talent and stage presence, this apple is sure to grow as big as the tree it fell from.

The Oginalii girls. The underground of Nashville is their domain, and folk-grunge is their game. (Robert Plant’s symbol is literally tattoo’d on the lead singers arm.)

Ticket price? That’s so old-Nashville. 

Tickets are whatever price you think they should be and the proceeds go to support the Music Health Alliance.

You have read that correctly, there is NO set ticket price. Just a donation of your choice in amount at the door that goes to benefit a charity that is really all what the Billy Block Show is about. Music Health Alliance is dedicating to “helping heal those who make Music by providing access to healthcare through services that PROTECT, DIRECT & CONNECT music industry professionals with medical and financial solutions.”

Billy Block has been around the block and is now ready to start doing things differently. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! The show has always been about supporting and nurturing artists, and now we have the opportunity to do that on a level like never before.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Copyright © 2014 Billy Block Inc, All rights reserved.

MUSIC HEALS: Music’s Top 100 Feel Good Songs

Music Heals!  Anyone who has had their heart broken knows this, and now there is scientific evidence to support the theory.  For those of you making a living writing, producing, playing and working in the business of music, keep on keepin’ on, because you are providing some of the best holistic, non-invasive medicine in the world!

The notion that Music Heals dates back to the writings of Plato and Aristotle. More recently, JAMA reported in 1914 that phonographs played in recovery and operating rooms increased positive outcomes for patients, and we now know that musicians played at the bedside of wounded soldiers in both World Wars to help ease physical and emotional trauma.  The idea that Music Heals is nothing new.  What is new is that evidence-based medicine and modern science now support what musicians, patients and star-crossed lovers have known for centuries, that Music Heals.

What is it about music that actually heals?  Music is a form of sensory stimulation that triggers the pleasure system of the brain.  According to brain-imaging studies music is processed throughout both brain hemispheres activating the areas that are responsible for language, listening, motor skills, emotion, memory and creativity. “We believe music can cause neurochemical changes in specific parts of the brain,” says Mark Jude Tramo, neurology professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Institute for Music & Brain Science in Boston.  “Music is a powerful auditory stimulus.” So powerful in fact that it causes the release of dopamine, which is responsible for motivation and feelings of happiness.  These endorphins also suppress pain.  Current studies similarly link music to the release of immunoglobulins, which help fight disease. Music as a clinical therapy is now used all over the world in many ways:  pain management, mood and mobility improvement for patients with Parkinson’s disease and brain trauma, medication reduction after surgery, anxiety relief, hospital stay reduction for children and adults, nausea reduction after chemotherapy, treatment for depression, enhanced concentration and creativity, and for lowering blood pressure. Music offers a nonthreatening treatment tool that is attractive to doctors and patients alike.  There is essentially no downside that’s any more serious than a misplayed chord.

What songs cause that dopamine release for music makers?  What are the songs that make people in the music business feel good? What songs lift the spirits of those immersed in lyrics, melodies and the business of music day in and day out?  Throughout last year I asked music industry friends and associates to answer these questions. I received almost 1000 responses. From these responses I compiled a list of the . . .

Top 100 “Feel Good Songs” from the Makers of Music:

  1. “We Must Believe In Magic” – Performed by Johnny Cash, Written by Cowboy Jack Clement
  2. “Three Little Birds” – Performed by Bob Marley
  3. “What A Wonderful World” – Performed by Louis Armstrong
  4. “Ode To Joy” – Written by Beethoven
  5. “Day O” – Performed by Harry Belafonte
  6. “Ob-La-De, Ob-La-Da” – Performed by The Beatles
  7. “Fishin’ In The Dark” – Performed by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  8. “These Arms Of Mine” – Performed by Otis Redding
  9. “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World” – Performed by Ronnie Millsap
  10. “I’ll Be There” – Performed by The Four Tops
  11. “Your Are The Sunshine Of My Life” – Performed by Stevie Wonder
  12. “Good Ole Boys” – Performed by Waylon Jennings
  13. “Wild World” – Performed by Cat Stevens
  14. “You Look So Good In Love” – Performed by George Strait
  15. “Tiny Dancer” – Performed by Elton John
  16. “Soulshine” – Performed by The Allman Brothers
  17. “Strawberry Wine” – Performed by Deana Carter
  18. “White Lightening” – Performed by George Jones
  19. “You Are My Sunshine” – Performed by Ray Charles
  20. “Start Me Up” – Performed by The Rolling Stones
  21. “Tangled Up & Blue” – Performed by Bob Dylan
  22. “Junior’s Farm” – Performed by The Wings
  23. “Leavin’ On a Jet Plane” – Performed by John Denver
  24. “Here You Come Again” – Performed by Dolly Parton
  25. “The Most Beautiful Girl” – Performed by Charlie Rich
  26. “I Love A Rainy Night” – Performed by Eddie Rabbit
  27. “King Of The Road” – Performed by Roger Miller
  28. “Rhinestone Cowboy” – Performed by Glen Campbell
  29. “Let It Be” – Performed by The Beatles
  30. “If I Had A Boat” – Performed by Lyle Lovett
  31. “Feel Alright” – Performed by Steve Earle
  32. “Rainbow Connection” – Performed by Willie Nelson
  33. “Crusin” – Performed by Smokey Robinson
  34. “Movin’ On Up” – The Jefferson’s Theme Song, Performed by Ja’net Dubois
  35. “Great Day To Be Alive” – Performed by Travis Tritt
  36. “Imagine” – Performed by John Lennon
  37. “Proud Mary” – Performed by Tina Turner
  38.  “Call Me Al” – Performed by Paul Simon
  39. “Have A Little Faith In Me” – Performed and Written by John Hiatt
  40. “Western Skies” – Performed & Written by Chris LeDoux
  41. “You Shook Me All Night Long” – Performed by AC/DC
  42. “Good Bye Earl” – Performed by The Dixie Chicks
  43. “Here Comes The Sun” – Performed by The Beatles
  44. “C’mon Get Happy” – Performed by The Partridge Family
  45. “Puff The Magic Dragon” – Performed by Peter, Paul & Mary
  46. “I Say A Little Prayer” – Performed by Aretha Franklin
  47. “Jolly Mon” – Performed by Jimmy Buffet
  48. “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin” – Performed by Michael Jackson
  49. “I Will” – Performed by Allison Krauss
  50. “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” – Performed by James Basket/Uncle Remus
  51. “Shower The People You Love” – Performed by James Taylor
  52. “Fly Me To The Moon” – Performed by Frank Sinatra
  53. “Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire” – Performed by David Foster
  54. “Beautiful Day” – Performed by U2,
  55. “Cheers Theme Song” – Performed by Gary Portnoy
  56. “Better Together” – Performed by Jack Johnson
  57. “The Gambler” – Performed by Kenny Rogers
  58. “A Change Will Do You Good” – Performed by Sheryl Crow
  59. Amazing Grace – All Versions Performed
  60. “Hammer & A Nail” – Performed by The Indigo Girls
  61. “Love at The Five & Dime” – Performed by Nancy Griffith
  62. “It’s The End Of The World” – Performed by REM
  63.  “This Hard Land” – Performed by Bruce Springsteen
  64. “You’re In My Heart” – Performed by Rod Stewart
  65. “Devil Went Down To Georgia” – Performed by Charlie Daniels
  66. “Change The World” – Performed by Eric Clapton
  67. “Kiss An Angel Good Morning” – Performed by Charlie Pride
  68. “She’s In Love With The Boy” – Performed by Trisha Yearwood
  69. “God Only Knows” – Performed by The Beach Boys
  70. “Sweet Caroline” – Performed by Neil Diamond
  71. “Ocean Front Property” – Performed by George Strait
  72. “The Chair” – Performed by George Strait
  73. “Walk This Way” – Performed by RUN-DMC featuring Aerosmith
  74. “Pretty Woman” – Performed by Roy Orbison
  75. “Orinico Flow” – Performed by Enya
  76. “What The World Needs Now” Performed by Jackie DeShannon
  77. “Feelin’ Groovy Song” – Performed by Simon & Garfunkel
  78. “Fortunate Son” – Performed by CCR
  79.  “Your Love Keeps Liftin Me Higher” Performed by Jackie Wilson
  80. “It’s Your Thing” – Performed by Isley Brothers
  81. “Linus & Lucy” – Performed by Vince Guardaldi Trio
  82. “Groove Is In The Heart” – Performed by Dee-Lite
  83.  “Joy To The World” – Performed by Three Dog Night
  84. “Take On Me” – Performed by Ah-ha
  85. “Kyrie” – Performed by Mr. Mister
  86. “Pancho & Lefty” – Performed by Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson
  87. “Coming Around Again” – Performed by Carly Simon
  88. “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” – Performed by Billy Murray
  89. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” – Performed by Tears for Fears
  90. “Roll To Me” – Performed by Del Amitri
  91. “Easy Like Sunday Morning” – Performed by Lionel Ritchie
  92. “The Scientist” – Performed by Willie Nelson
  93. “Blitzkrieg Bob” – Performed by The Ramones
  94. “Little Red Corvette” – Performed by Prince
  95. “In Your Eyes” – Performed by Peter Gabriel
  96. “No Easy Way Out” – Performed by Robert Tepper
  97. “Roll On” – Performed by Alabama
  98. “I’m Comin’ Out” – Performed by Diana Ross
  99. “East Bound & Down” – Performed by Jerry Reed
  100. “Freebird” – Performed by Lynard Skynard

The music you are making each day has an impact much greater than a chart position or Sound Scan report.  As music makers you are helping Kenneth, a stroke survivor, learn to speak again, and you are giving Deanna, a fourteen year-old with cancer, a reason to keep fighting.   Great music inspires us, relaxes us, energizes us – in short, great music heals us and keeps us well.  So instead of taking two aspirin, listen to a little “We Must Believe In Magic” before going to bed — because Music Heals.

Health Care Reform and the Music Industry

How is Health Care Reform going to impact the Music Business? Well, I am not going to lie, it is going to be a chaotic mess for a little while. There are currently more unknowns than knowns about the implementation of this new law and with an industry that is under insured, the sales predators are going to be on the prowl using every devious scare tactic in the book to get our attention. However, there are more resources available to the music industry than most, so please find comfort in knowing that Music Health Alliance will be here to navigate with you along the way. We are partnering with MusiCares in the coming months to make sure the most accurate and timely information is available to you so stay tuned.

Now, back to the question at hand, “How is Health Care Reform going to impact the Music Business?” The music industry is a player among the nation’s largest industries, with an economic impact of $147 billion in 6 of America’s largest cities. Despite this percieved prosperity, an estimated 76 percent of music industry professionals have no access to group health benefits.* The percentage of those without adequate health insurance is significantly higher than the national average of uninsured individuals, and over 75 percent of those in the music industry with no health insurance say it is just too expensive to obtain without the availablity of group health care plans.** The lack of clear, factual information available to this industry regarding the implications of Health Care Reform has only increased the vulnerability of music professionals attempting to navigate these changes. This lack of access to affordable health insurance coupled with a lack of factual information about the Affordable Care Act will lead directly to poor healthcare outcomes, and unecessary fear and expense. Unfortunately, this has become a unique and perpetual cycle amongst the core industry demographic, our nation’s music makers, impacting the longevity of their careers and the vitality of our industry. It does not have to be this way!

According to Katherine Sebelius, US Secretary of Health & Human Services, the number one problem with the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” is the lack of education regarding the new law. Moreover, health care reform has become such a political football that the amount of misinformation circulating currently overwhelms the amount of accurate information available. Given the unique vulnerabilities of the music demographic, this lack of education and false information could be devestating for far too many in our industry. It can also be remedied. Healthcare Reform has the potential to be very helpful for many in the music industry if navigated properly. There is not a one-size-fits-all, but there are options for all demographics, some requiring a bit more creativity to piece together than others. There are also Federal and State subsidies that will become available in January 2014 to offset some of the costs, but taking adavantage of the opportunities afforded by the new law requires timely access to accurate information that is changing by the minute.

Here is what we know to be factual at this time:
• Young adults can stay on thir parent’s plan until their 26th Birthday – IMPLEMENTED 2010
• Kids under 19 can get coverage even if they have health conditions – IMPLEMENTED 2010
• All health insurance plans must cover 100% of certain preventative services with no-copays including colonscopies, mammograms and additional women’s preventative services IMPLEMENTED 2010 & 2012
• No more lifetime limits on the amount your health insurance will cover – IMPLEMENTED 2010
• Emergency room services are covered both in and out of network for the same amount – IMPLEMENTED 2010
• Your health insurance cannot be canceled unless you do not pay your bill – IMPLEMENTED 2010
• Relief for four million seniors who hit the Medicare Prescription Drug “Donut Hole” IMPLEMENTED 2010
• Everyone must have health insurance – DUE 1/1/2014
• Anyone can obtain health insurance regardless of health conditions – DUE 1/1/2014
• Health Insurance Plans are required to pay for a list of Essential Health Benefits that now include maternity, mental and behavioral health treatment
• Exchanges or online marketplaces to buy health insurance must open for business in each state beginning October 1, 2013 with effective dates of insurance coverage beginning January 1, 2014 and Exchanges will vary by state
• Open enrollment period for Exchanges will run from October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014.
• Individuals and families with incomes up to 400% of Federal Poverty Level will qualify for subsidies meaning an individual can make up to $45,960 a year, family of 2 up to $62,040, family of 3 up to $78,120 and family of 4 up to 94,200 and receive help paying your monthly health insurance premium in the form of a tax credit – DUE 1/1/2014
• Cost Sharing subsidies will be available for those who are 100% – 250% of the Federal Poverty Level to help with high out of pocket medical expenses – DUE 1/1/2014
• Anyone who qualifies for subsidies IS REQUIRED to purchase health insurance through the exchanges to take advantage of this financial resource – DUE 1/1/2014
• If you chose not to get health insurance in 2014 you will receive a $95 tax penalty per adult and $47.50 per child up to a maximum penalty of $285 – December 31, 2014
• Americans who earn less than 133% of the poverty level (approximately $14,000 for an individual and $29,000 for a family of four) will be eligible to enroll in Medicaid. States will receive 100% federal funding for the first three years to support this expanded coverage, phasing to 90% federal funding in subsequent years – DUE 1/1/2014
• Plans on the Exchanges will be tiered with the top plan, Platinum, covers 90% of your health care expenses and you will pay 10% through a combination of known deductibles, copays and coinsurance. The plans range from Platinum (90% coverage), Gold (80% coverage), Silver (70% coverage), Bronze (60% coverage) and then a Catastrophic plan that is lower cost and has limited benefits (only available to those under 30).
• A Tax Return dated within the last 2 years must be submitted with your health insurance application on the Exchanges in order to qualify for a subsidy.
• Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) has been delayed until 2015. There will be one option available through the Exchange throughout 2014.

Here’s what we do not know:
• How the COST of health insurance will be impacted?
• Who is responsible for what when it comes to the administration of all of the changes?
• How long can the state and federal budgets support the subsidies?
• What happens if the subsidy money runs out?
• Will there be a shortage of Primary Care Physicians?
• Why hasn’t the overall all cost of healthcare been addressed yet?

Music Health Alliance will be providing health care advocacy/navigation that assimilates factual and simplified information about Health Care Reform and distributes it in a readily understandable format, so we can empower music professionals to make better health care decisions, and increase their confidence in their ability to help themselves. This is also how our industry can protect itself from being unnecessarily exposed to the sales predators who are multiplying by the minute with false claims and savvy scare tactics motivated by profit. Our hope is that this will protect the industry from unecessary fear and cost, enable informed decision making that will result in better health care outcomes, and create an opportunity to change over time a negative cycle of poor health care coverage that has plagued the music industry for years.

So how is Health Care Reform going to impact the Music Business? It is hard to say exactly, however, MHA knows the facts of the law for every state, we understand music people because we are music people and we will be here to walk with you until we have answers and solutions to meet your individual health related needs. Music Health Alliance believes this will offer the best opportunity to create a favorable solution for the current health care challenges facing the music industry.

SPECIAL NOTE: MHA has taken the profit motive out of the health insurance and healthcare equation in order to provide the best solutions to the health related needs of the music industry. MHA is a nonprofit (501c3) with a program-centered budget, 84% of income goes directly to MHA programs and services. MHA’s operational expenses are supported by donations and fundraising events. All other MHA revenues go directly into the Cowboy Jack Clement Fund (Jack Pot) to provide music makers with financial relief from medical bills not covered by health insurance. Grants from the “Jack Pot” will begin in conjunction with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, January 2014.

* SOURCE: Belmont University Study, Economic Impact Study compilation, US Census Bureau
** SOURCE: Future of Music Coalition

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Music Health Alliance is a non-profit organization providing the music industry with healthcare advocacy through health insurance, healthcare resources and confidential guidance.

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