Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Proposal made for federal subsidy to create sustainable artists' insurance

A coalition of arts associations has made a proposal to the federal finance ministry for a $10 million subsidy program to increase the number of professional artists -- including freelance writers -- who can enrol in medical, dental and life insurance. They are hoping to create the Healthy Artists Trust or HEART, which would underwrite part of the cost of enrollments on a declining scale over 10 years.

The coalition includes the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC), The Actors’ Fund of Canada. the Canadian Dance Assembly, the Canadian Media Guild and CARFAC Ontario.

There already is a program called the Writers Coalition Program or the Arts & Entertainment Plan, run by the ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society. But the proposal to the federal government says a subsidy would make a major difference in scale. In a letter to various associations across Canada, the coalition says
"We calculate that a $10 million investment would ensure that a critical mass of subscribers will be achieved in one or more of these insurance program to make them self-sustaining." 
Without federal help, the coalition estimates that the number of subscribers to insurance programs would reach about 500 and grow slowly. With it, the number would increase ten-fold in the 10 years after HEART was launched. 

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