Raise Your Hand if You're Insured
April 4, 2012 11:50 AM   Subscribe

How do artists and writers in Los Angeles get health insurance?

I'm going to be looking at self-insurance in the next couple of months, and I'm wondering what some good options are. I realize that with health insurance there's almost never a "good option", but I also realize that there are other freelancers in the L.A. area who must have to self-insure. What do y'all do?
posted by airguitar2 to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Freelancers Union will be a good first stop.
posted by bcwinters at 12:10 PM on April 4, 2012

I just applied to Kaiser, Blue Shield, etc. You can apply online. I believe Kaiser was the cheaper, somewhere around $145/mo.
posted by Vaike at 12:24 PM on April 4, 2012

When you say artist, what do you mean exactly? If you mean fine arts/performing arts, often arts service organizations will offer access to cheap healthcare. Here in Atlanta, we have a group that offers access to the Kaiser Permanente Bridge Program.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:30 PM on April 4, 2012

Get a high deductible HSA if you're not constantly visiting the Dr. Saved me thousands of dollars.
posted by no bueno at 12:53 PM on April 4, 2012

I'm only paying $100/month through Kaiser for that.
posted by no bueno at 12:54 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here in Atlanta, we have a group that offers access to the Kaiser Permanente Bridge Program.

What is this? I pay more in health insurance than many pay in rent every month, so I’m interested in any options.
posted by bongo_x at 1:01 PM on April 4, 2012

My freelancer friend in L.A. uses Anthem Blue Cross and pays $165/month for decent coverage; I think they have less-expensive plans with higher deductibles. You can get a quote for an individual plan online.
posted by bedhead at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2012

when i was living and freelancing in LA (and for a few years after i moved to oregon), i was insured through california blue cross. i had the middle of the road plan and it was 185/month and was quite happy with them. this was about 5 years ago tho.
posted by violetk at 2:21 PM on April 4, 2012

Freelancers Union doesn't offer medical coverage in Los Angeles, last I checked. When I was freelancing in LA(still here, no longer freelancing), I decided on Kaiser for self insurance - deductibles were very high, but it was only about $100 a month!
posted by sawdustbear at 2:21 PM on April 4, 2012

Keep in mind that plans like Kaiser and Blue Cross often don't accept applicants with pre-existing conditions, and if they do, it's certainly not for $100 per month.

I'm in California and i use MRMIP, the state's "high-risk" pool -- I'm high-risk because I'm on antidepressants. I pay around $400 per month (highway robbery) but the deductible is relatively low.

posted by mirepoix at 2:53 PM on April 4, 2012

Are you a member of the WGA? If not, Kaiser. You can do Medi-cal if you have low enough income.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:44 PM on April 4, 2012

Try eHealthInsurance.com if you wind up needing an individual plan. I've used them 3 times over the years and always been able to get a "name" plan for a reasonable rate.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:14 PM on April 4, 2012

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