During an unprecedented year that witnessed a destructive tornado across Tennessee, followed by the year-long national devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Music Health Alliance (MHA), named to Billboard’s Country Power Players list in 2019 and highlighted as Activists in 2020’s Billboard Women in Music list, has worked tirelessly to keep the music playing, advocating for and supporting the physical and mental health needs of America’s music community. Based in Nashville, MHA has provided free healthcare advocacy and support to more than 15,000 music industry members across 48 states in the non-profit’s first eight years - songwriters, musicians, performers, producers, engineers, venue operators, artist managers, agents, publishers, business managers, and more - by providing access to medicine, mental health resources, COVID-19 relief, diagnostic tests, lifesaving transplants, end of life care and many other necessary services, saving more than $60,000,000 in healthcare costs for the nationwide music community in less than a decade.
As advocates, Music Health Alliance fights so those in our industry never have to feel alone in a crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has only sharpened this focus for its clients. In the last year with the lack of touring, musicians and road crew have been furloughed. MHA has stepped in to help with the transition for many from group to individual health insurance and helped secure funds through grants such as the Ben Eyestone Fund to assist with essential tests like colonoscopies.
The organization also sprang into action following the devastating tornado that hit Music City just over one year ago. For example, a recording artist, asleep in his apartment, was knocked out by debris when the roof was torn off his apartment. The artist’s entire apartment and all of his belongings were destroyed. He could not sleep for 4 nights straight and called MHA for assistance. MHA was able to connect him with a trauma specialist and after two weeks of counseling he was able to sleep again and manage the stressors in his life sharing, “The swift response and connection with an experienced trauma specialist enabled me to put one foot in front of the other with hope!”
With touring on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic, many in the music industry found themselves separated from their road families and alone. That isolation and loss of identity and employment lead to an increased need for mental health services with MHA seeing a 300% increase in requests over 2019.
Music Health Alliance’s vision is to create a safe and confidential place for the music community to gain the very best healthcare and health insurance solutions through defined and transparent advocacy services with an emphasis on the prevention of illness and overall wellness. Since 2013, MHA has:
- Generated $63,000,000 in healthcare costs saved including insurance premium savings, medical bill reductions and medications, including:
- $28 million saved in medical costs
- $35 million in health insurance costs reductions
- $370 thousand in direct COVID-19 relief including food, medicine and healthcare access
- Served 15,000 members of the music community nationwide in all genres of music from birth to end of life at no cost, including:
- Resources for 8,725 music professionals to pay for healthcare
- Connected 5,944 music professionals with doctors, clinics, hospitals and counselors
- Provided 1,558 clients with mental health resources
- Provided 1,136 clients with dental care
- Saved 1,075 families saved from bankruptcy due to medical bills
- Provided 21 clients with access to life-saving organ transplants
- Saved $21 million in medical bill grant requests for numerous music industry foundations, further assisting the person in need
- Created 2 mental health funds in partnership with Music Business Association & Scars Foundation and the second with support from CMA Biz to support both creatives and corporate side mental health needs.
In 2020, MHA saw a 15% increase in clients served during the six-week open enrollment season, totaling 3,582 members of the music community and more than $8 million in insurance premiums and out-of-pocket cost savings. With the reopening of Healthcare.gov through May 15, 2021, MHA is providing additional guidance to anyone without health insurance or who needs to change their plan for the current year.
- Music Health Alliance’s Cowboy Jack Clement Fund – “The JackPot” - entirely funded by MHA’s health insurance commissions, has granted $342,000 for 936 financially vulnerable clients to offset medical needs not covered by health insurance. MHA’s group health insurance division, currently serving more than 20 groups, with all health insurance commissions going directly to the fund and in 2020 allowed the organization to earmark $100,000 from the “JackPot” to create MHA’s COVID Relief Fund. MHA’s Covid Relief Fund has now served 5,440 music industry professionals providing medicine, health insurance premiums, doctor visits and food resources totaling approximately 912,240 meals for music industry professionals impacted by the pandemic.
Launched in 2018 in Middle Tennessee, the Ben Eyestone Fund has provided 121 music professionals with access to diagnostic healthcare. The one-of-a-kind resource has produced over $6.1 million in cost-savings and, more importantly, saved lives. In 2020, the fund expanded to provide nationwide diagnostic care to the uninsured and underinsured music community. For every $1 donated to the Ben Eyestone Fund, MHA is able to deliver $75 in diagnostic healthcare and treatment.
This new year brings additional resources for the music community, including partnerships with the Country Music Association as well as Music Biz and the Scars Foundation to provide mental health assistance to support music industry professionals.
While based in Nashville, in serving the entire music community, MHA has developed a one-of-its-kind database of sliding-scale and no-cost healthcare, mental health, preventative and dental care resources.
Entirely funded through grants and individual and corporate donations, financial support from the music community is critical to continue Music Health Alliance’s advocacy and free services. 89% of dollars donated go directly to MHA’s programs and services - for every $1 donation, MHA is able to provide $30 in life-saving healthcare resources to Heal The Music. MHA fights so those in our industry never have to feel alone in a health crisis and removes obstacles so patients can receive lifesaving care. MHA continues to advocate on behalf of songwriters, producers, audio engineers, musicians, recording artists, publishers and more across the country. Thanks to the direct efforts of MHA, members of the music community across the country have gained access to lifesaving transplants, medicine, mental health resources, end of life care and many other necessary services. Its services are free to any person who has worked in the music industry for two or more years or who has credited contributions to 4 commercially released recordings or videos. Spouses, partners, and children of qualifying individuals may also receive access to the non-profit’s services from birth to end of life.