Warning: this is not a Valentine’s Day post. No rainbows, no butterflies, no chocolate-covered hearts. Sorry.
The morning after another (surprise!) snowstorm in New York City, here I am glaring — with one eye — at faint reflections that vaguely resemble Latin letters across my laptop screen. To be clear, a “one-eyed romantic pirate” was not exactly the image I was aiming for on Valentine’s Day. Yet, after endless hours of staring at the flickering screen, my left eye has decided to take a well-deserved vacation. Hence the pirate eyepatch.
The logical solution is right in front of my (so far, knock on wood) healthy right eye — make an appointment with my ophthalmologist asap. If only. As most of us already know, vision insurance is not included in basic health care packages. A regular health insurance plan only covers unexpected eye injury and disease. What about routine eye exams and other basic vision-related procedures, aside from discounts on contact lenses and eyeglasses? Too bad. Get a vision insurance as a supplement in addition to the already horrendous basic health care package, or else (here’s the dreaded part) pay cash for each visit.
Last summer, Future of Music Coalition and Artists’ Health Insurance Resource Center conducted a survey among U.S.-based independent artists, like yours truly, regarding our access to health insurance. Out of 3,402 artists, 43 percent of us are currently uninsured. Here’s the worst part — according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, this is more than double the national estimate of 18 percent uninsured of those between the ages of 0 and 64. “Shocking” is an understatement.