Reno nonprofit offers health insurance benefits to artists

Sierra Arts Foundation members will have access to different plans at a discounted rate
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 10:57 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - For many independent gig-workers like Tracy Kimmons, securing health insurance can be difficult and expensive.

“We sometimes don’t know if we’re going to sell a painting or whatever or medium is,” she said. “I haven’t felt like I’ve had good healthcare in about five years, here in nevada.”

The impressionistic and abstract artist dedicates about 30 to 40 hours a week to her work, but it’s still not enough.

“I also have a small landscaping business I do, part-time, so that I can afford to pay more.”

Stories like hers aren’t uncommon, especially after COVID lockdowns, that’s why the Sierra Arts Foundation will start offering group healthcare plan to its members.

“It’s kind of being germinating for many years,” said Tracy Oliver, executive director of SAF. “We’ve had several attempts, we’ve talked to a lot of people, they said it couldn’t be done. We found the right group of people to bring it to us and we’re happy to bring it to the public.”

The plans are through Old Glory Insurance and start at $45 a month, and under $400 to include your family. Coverage will include combinations of basic medical, dental, vision, hospital indemnity and pet insurance.

Oliver said it doesn’t matter what kind of art you do, but you need to live in Nevada and be a member.

“You get online is a $35 annual fee (membership), fill out the paperwork and take advantage of all of the other things we have to offer,” she said. “Calls to artist, financial opportunities.”

Open enrollment starts November 1st. and will be 100% virtual. Applicants are expected to be fully insured by December 1st.

If her art continues to be successful, Kimmons expects to be doing her passion full-time next year, while having better access to healthcare.

“I feel like I’m a part of something, you know, we have company insurance,” she said.

According to the nonprofit, about 500 members are eligible for health benefits. They hope the community continues to support the artist who carry the essence of our communities.

For more information, call SAF at (775) 329-2787.