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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Paper
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FoRCE offers health insurance plan for Dane County artists

There's good news for uninsured artists in Dane County. The Foundation of Retaining Creative Energy, or FoRCE, in Madison has partnered with Fractured Atlas of New York City, to provide a limited-benefit medical plan. HealthAssist provides discounts for medical care and fixed-limit reimbursements for remaining expenses such as prescription medication.

A kickoff event for the FoRCE HealthAssist plan was held on Sept. 13 at the brand-new Forza Gallery on Madison's east side. According to FoRCE executive director Jessica Thompson, the event went well.

"There are a lot of artists who are extremely interested," she says. The opportunity for musicians, theater workers and literary and visual artists to get health insurance and other strategic support is part of her personal mission to foster Madison's creative community.

The partnership with Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit coalition serving a national community of artists and arts groups, allows Dane County artists access to funding and education in the form of online courses and seminars, as well as reduced-rate health-care benefits.

The cost for annual membership with FoRCE is $190. Group rates are available for qualifying bands and artist collectives. Members are offered access to the HealthAssist plan for less than $50 a month per person. Through the Galaxy Health Network, doctor visits are subject to prenegotiated reduced rates. HealthAssist then reimburses the patient $50 per visit, up to five times a year. One preventative care visit is also covered after six months of membership.

Hospital coverage pays $500 per day, up to 10 days per year. A $10,000 life insurance and similar accidental death benefit is also included, as are optional dental and vision coverage plans.

Thompson is well known within the Madison arts community. She coordinates a monthly Arts Crawl, held on the first Friday of each month, and the annual Madison Area Open Art Studios Tour where local artists unlock the gates to their personal spaces and allow the public to investigate the processes and products produced within.

A reception and primer for this year's Open Art Studios Tour will be held in the Overture Center's Promenade Terrace on Sept. 28 from 5 to 9 pm. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served. A raffle will allow patrons the chance to take home a wide variety of locally produced art. Over 150 local artists will take part in the tour over the weekend of Oct. 6 and 7.

One good turn deserves another. Contact or stop by the FoRCE office at 825 E. Johnson St. in Madison with questions about membership, the HealthAssist plan, or other FoRCE programs.

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