We often hear about self care. Taking breaks and days off, working out, pampering yourself and getting mental health care are a few examples of what I, as a cam model coach, tell Live Jasmin models they should do to stay healthy and vibrant.
The most important self-care though, in my opinion, is a trip to the doctor. We all need annual check-ups, many of us use birth control and camming, with its flexible schedule, is a great occupation for performers with chronic health issues that need ongoing care. This can be challenging, however, because medical care can be very expensive in the US without insurance, and getting insurance can seem intimidating to cam performers who don’t have day job-style health benefits.
But don’t lose hope! It’s not as hard to get healthcare as you might think. It takes a day or two of homework and might require a creative solution, but most of us can get healthcare. Here are some examples of how.
Explore this option first for health insurance. It offers a variety of programs with prices based on your taxable income. Your taxable income is your total income minus deductions. Cam performers working from home often have many deductions which can push your taxable income down far enough to get you a significant discount on health insurance or an additional tax credit.
If you don’t know what your taxable income will be for the year, ask your accountant to help you estimate it. If it seems complicated, believe me it’s worth it: Your taxable income could be low enough that you qualify for extremely low-cost (less than $100/month) or free programs, like your state’s Medicaid.
— HealthCare.gov (@HealthCareGov) October 9, 2019
2. Concierge Medicine
If you are sick of the complications of health insurance, you’re not alone. Many doctors, especially in major cities, are tired of it too and now practice concierge medicine. This means you pay the doctor or a network of concierge practices directly without insurance companies being involved. It’s often a monthly fee that’s very competitive with what day-job health insurance would cost.
Because there is no insurance involved (which pays based on actual visits to a doctor’s office), many issues can be handled over the phone or via Skype, without needing to actually go see the doctor in person. Blood tests and prescriptions usually have to be paid for out of pocket, but concierge doctors’ offices often have resources to help you get discounts on medicine and other services. This can be especially useful for performers who travel frequently and don’t have expensive chronic illnesses. And, when you do visit in person, concierge doctors are typically on-time with very short waits.
Here are some resources for finding concierge doctors across the country and in major US cities. Shop around. Prices can vary widely, from $199 to $25,000 or more per year.
Paragon Private Health: This is a massive network of concierge physicians that spans the country. Paragon touts increasing quality of care by decreasing the number of patients each doctor cares for. They’ve been named one of the fastest growing companies in the country for two years in a row by Inc. magazine, which probably says something about the growing popularity of concierge medicine.
Check them out at ParagonPrivateHealth.com.
MDVIP: This is another national network of independent doctors across the country, including a lot of smaller cities. We found MDVIP docs in cities as small as Louisville, KY and Peoria, IL. Their rates start around $400 every three months for smaller towns, up to around $700 in New York City and vary depending on which doc you choose.
Check out mdvip.com for more info.
One Medical: This is a national medical practice with multiple locations in several large cities, including New York, LA, Boston, Seattle, Phoenix and San Francisco. Memberships cost $199 per year.
Get more information at onemedical.com.
And remember, there are tons of concierge practices that might not be affiliated with a network like these, so make sure to do your research to see how practices in your area compare. Just search for “concierge medicine” and the name of your city. For example, “concierge medicine los angeles” brings up several practices throughout the city.
With concierge medicine, you can literally go to the same doctor as 2Chainz and Lana Del Rey, if you wanna.
3. Income-Based Clinics
Also known as “free clinics,” many cities across the country have clinics that provide treatment based on your income.
An important distinction between these and income-based insurance plans from Healthcare.gov is that Healthcare.gov has an application process and an enrollment period, so you often have to wait to get care, whereas a free clinic typically evaluates your income when you arrive for your appointment. They’re especially good if you’ve just moved to a new town, have a sudden need but have no insurance, or are having some tough months, income-wise, and still need healthcare. Some free clinics also offer dentistry and optometry.
Check out freeclinics.com/ to find one near you.
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TouroCOM’s very first student-run free health clinic is now open and serving the Harlem community! Second year #medstudent Ihiechi Ohia-Enyia (Health Clinic Operations Chair) looks forward to serving the community, “The journey to opening up our student clinic has been a long one but very worthwhile. The clinic will help bridge the health disparity gap here in the Harlem community. Helping the underserved has always been a passion of mine and being a part of this clinic has given me that opportunity.” And fellow med student and Vice Chair Fatima Aguilar can personally attest to the importance of free clinics, “Coming from a family of immigrants, I know first hand the importance of having free clinics in our neighborhoods. When I enrolled at Touro, I knew that I had to become part of the TouroCOM Harlem Health Clinic so that I can do my part in giving back to the community. Finally opening our doors is very rewarding and I hope that this clinic grows to be an integral part of Harlem.”
4. A Family Member’s Health Plan
Did you know that your parents’ or domestic partner’s health plan might cover you as well? Family health plans often cover children until age 25. People can often be covered by their spouse’s workplace healthcare plans and, at many companies, insurance plans can include domestic partners, meaning you might not have to be married to get in on their coverage. If you have someone who can include you in their health insurance, you might as well check out the option. Ask them if you can enroll with them and, if they don’t know, their company’s human resources manager should be able to offer them the details.
One last thing — and this is important! If you don’t have healthcare, don’t put this off any longer! This is your health we are talking about. It determines the actual quality and length of your life. As the old saying goes: If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?
Currently feeling this banana in a major way – ugh!
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Sammy Shayne recruits and coaches cam models for LiveJasmin.com. Find her on Twitter at @SammyStrips. If you have questions or a topic you’d like her to cover in an upcoming Sammy Says, email her at email@example.com.
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