Just What the Doctor Ordered: A New Health Insurance Plan Helps Keep Potters and Ceramic Artists Healthy

Laura Zindel discussed the challenge to find good, cheap health insurance in Ceramics Monthly.

Recently Ceramics Monthly featured an article (Work and Play: The
Sculptor’s Life, January 2009) on working ceramic sculptors and a few
years back, there was a great article about working potters (What it
Takes: Working Potters, June/July 2007). The articles featured 12
working ceramic artists discussing what it takes to support oneself as
an artist in America. One challenge that was faced by almost all of the
artists was finding affordable health insurance coverage. This struck a
chord with me because this was something that my own artist husband had
to wrestle with before we got married and he could get on my plan. So I
was excited when I heard the news that the Potters Council has a new
health insurance benefit for members and wanted to spread the news to
Ceramic Arts Daily readers.

In addition to the hard work that goes into trying to make ends meet in the art world, most working artists also have to figure out how to afford health insurance. Many simply end up going without and hoping for the best. “We buy individual health insurance for Shoku and hope to buy insurance for Matt within a year or two,” explained Shoku Teruyama and Matt Kelleher in the CM Working Potters article.
The others generally pay a lot of money for plans with very high deductibles. “We have a family health plan that we pay 100%,” said potter Laura Zindel. “It is very expensive, but what is the alternative? If my husband or I could not work for an extended period of time, I do not know what would happen to our business. I have not heard of any secret to insuring myself against the unknown – if anyone knows the secret, please call me.”
“I buy my own health insurance, which is very expensive,” added Daniel Johnston (pictured firing his kiln at left). “I also have become very careful about putting my health in danger. I am aware of how risky it is to run a business that relies on my good health and physical abilities.”
When the Potters Council rolled out the new health insurance benefit, many members greeted it with skepticism. “They’d ask, ‘Is it REAL health insurance?’ because many membership organizations provide health saving programs but not insurance programs,” said Potters Council manager Carolyn Dorr. “I’d assure them that yes it’s REAL health insurance with several different options for members to choose from.”
The Potters Council Health Plan has multiple plans and an extensive network of national providers (over 750,000). And because it is through (or part of) a group, it is usually less expensive than what people would find individually Sweet.
“I had given up on getting my own health insurance which meant I had to keep my day job or take the gamble of being uninsured,” said Janice Hofmann. “My business, All Fired Up! Ceramic Art Center in Chico, California, was doing well, but combining it with a job was too much! Twice before my husband and I were declined coverage after submitting applications to Blue Cross and Blue Shield. This was shocking to me because we are in excellent health, height/weight proportionate, nonsmokers. BUT my husband had on his medical records that he had some diagnostic tests and now we were considered uninsurable. When I saw the ad on the website that the Potters Council had an opportunity for health insurance I was very skeptical but initiated contact. After a brief and friendly conversation with Mike, we applied and I am happy to say, have a great policy AND the premium is $200 less a month than the policies we were denied. I am VERY happy and I get to focus on my business and my art 100%.”

Visit the Potters Council today to learn more about this and many other great benefits!


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