Got Health Insurance?

Catastrophic accidents, chronic illnesses, & drug & alcohol addictions… are a number of good works organizations that exist to cushion the blow when you get too sick to gig or record.

Key organizations do exist to assist those in specific medical, emotional, and economic crises for those who create music.

First, there is AFTRA. AFTRA co-chaired with NARAS’s L.A. Chapter a negotiation with major labels guaranteeing health insurance for royalty artists for every year they are under exclusive contract. Session singers are covered based on their earnings. For additional information, contact AFTRA at 323-634-8100.

Second, there is Sweet Relief. Sweet Relief was founded by singer/songwriter Victoria Williams & other members of the music community. Sweet Relief provides financial assistance (based on medical condition and financial need) to all types of career musicians who are facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. The organization is supported throught grants, benefits, and support of performing artists. For additional information call 818-563-5140 or email

Third, there is MusiCares Foundation. MusiCares focuses on the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health & welfare of the music community. The Emergency Financial Assistance Program provides critical funds for music people struggling with financial, medical or personal crises. For more information, call 1-800-687-4227, 310-392-3777, or visit

Fourth, there is MAP. MAP=Musician Assistance Program. Chemical dependency is the primary focus of MAP. MAP sometimes works in conjunction with MusiCares. For more information, call 323-993-3197 or visit

The fifth organization is Society of Singers (SOS). SOS assists musicians with financial, medical, & social issues. SOS works in conjunction with MusiCares, Actors Fund, and UCLA Voice Center for Medicine. If SOS cannot assist you, they will provide the support to help you find a program & offer financial aid in the form of short-term grants. For more information, call 323-653-7672 or visit For information from from UCLA Voice Center for Medicine, call 310-267-1835.

Finally, there are 3 clinics in the LA area that provide free medical care. Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic provides medical, counseling, and related visits to the homeless, poverty-level, and low income residents. The clinic is located at 3324 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles CA 323-660-2400. The Los Angeles Free Clinic ( located at 8405 Beverly Blvd and 6043 Hollywood Blvd. The Hollywood Wilshire Health Center, 5205 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, 323-653-8622.

To read the complete article, pick up a copy of Music Connection (Vol. XXVII, No. 07, 03/29/04 to 04/11/04) at your local library or visit