The office of the Music Health Alliance in a Green Hills office building is bustling with activity on a typical weekday afternoon. The non-profit helps self-employed music professionals - about three fourths of the industry they say - negotiate the complexities of the health care system and take advantage of laws and programs that often go unnoticed or unexploited in times of health crises.
Much of this week’s efforts though are in preparation for this Friday’s suite of shows raising consciousness and money on what Mayor Megan Barry has pronounced as Heal The Music Day.
“We have a free show at Musicians Corner from five to nine pm with artists like Brian Wright of Cafe Rooster," says Allison Klein, director of advocacy and marketing. She adds that the other artists at the Centennial Park stage will be Bobby Bare, Gretchen Peters, Erin Rae and the McCrary Sisters. There are separate shows at Family Wash, the Bluebird Cafe and Douglas Corner as well.
MHA founder and CEO Tatum Allsep says the organization uses comprehensive knowledge of federal and state laws and other resources to negotiate red tape, develop plans of action for individuals and families, ultimately leveraging every ten dollars donated to the non-profit into $300 of health benefits.
Allsep says, "We launched in January of 2013 so we're about to have our five year anniversary, and to date we have saved almost 22 million dollars in health care costs for our industry and we've got about 7,500 clients across the nation."
The Trump Administration recently slashed funding for Affordable Care Act navigators and reduced by half the open enrollment for the federal exchange. Allsep says despite those alarming headlines, access to the individual market has not changed. But consumers need to be aware that Healthcare dot gov will be their only option for individual coverage between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15.
“We have no crystal ball. We don’t know what 2019 means," says Allsep. "But we’re not going to worry about that right now because we’ve got a year to figure that out. For now let’s get you signed up and get you access to what will provide the care you need.”