Health Insurance for Dramatists

Health Insurance and Healthcare for Dramatists

We support initiatives that provide resources for theater writers at all stages of their careers to access health insurance and healthcare.

Free Counselling for Individual Artists

Entertainment Community Fund logo

Venturous has made a grant to increase the Entertainment Community Fund’s capacity to offer free, one-on-one counselling for individuals who need assistance with health insurance, including:

  • Navigating the Affordable Care Act marketplace, including dealing with variable income, freelance employment, etc.
  • Eligibility for ACA premium subsidies
  • Understanding the various Medicare options
  • Resources for the uninsured and under-insured
  • And much more.

The Fund, which was known for many years as the Actors Fund, provides support for people who work in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance—onstage, on screen, and behind the scenes.

It’s easy for individuals to get started. Just visit the Fund’s online portal.

Once you register, you can sign up for individual counseling, webinars/workshops, and the many other services the Fund provides.

Get more information about the Fund’s health and wellness resources.


We recently funded a pair of upcoming webinars presented by the Entertainment Community Fund in partnership with the Dramatists Guild of America that spotlight health insurance options and available resources for dramatists.

Every Theatre Writer Insured: Welcome to Medicare!

October 25, 2023

An informational session about the Medicare enrollment process. This webinar is for anyone who will soon be getting Medicare or is already enrolled in Medicare and wants to learn more about how it works. This session includes changes to Medicare for 2024.

Every Theatre Writer Insured: Welcome to Open Enrollment!

November 15, 2023

This webinar will help you understand your options when considering your next health insurance plan. It will give you clear, step-by-step guidance on what all your insurance options are, and how to get the most affordable coverage. You’ll learn about Affordable Care Act plans, Medicaid, the Essential Plan, and COBRA. Find out how to estimate variable/sporadic income and see if you’re eligible for free insurance or expanded subsidies to reduce your premiums. If you’re uninsured, find out how to reduce your healthcare and drug costs.

This session is an excellent opportunity for unbiased, comprehensive information from an experienced health insurance navigator. The information shared is relevant to theatre writers, including freelancers and those who are self-employed.


Additional Resources

The following resources for artists in NYC, NY State, and beyond are provided by IndieSpace via their Resource Guide for Theater Artists. Please refer to the Resource Guide for updates.

1. Healthcare, Dental, and Vision/Insurance

  • GetCoveredNYC
    A New York City Government program to help New Yorkers enroll in health insurance. Fill out a form in order to be contacted by a specialist who can help you in your language.

  • NYC Care
    A health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance.

  • Free Clinics – New York
    A comprehensive list of free and sliding-scale medical clinics in New York State.

  • Free Dental – New York
    A comprehensive list of free and sliding-scale dental clinics in New York State.

  • Oral Health from NYC Health
    City government resource for oral and dental health, including a list of low-cost dental providers in NYC.

  • Kress Vision Program
    Part of the Weill Cornell Medicine Community Clinic, this program aims to provide free comprehensive vision care for those who lack health insurance.

  • National Eye Institute
    National resources for free or low-cost eye care from the National Institutes of Health.

  • The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts
    In partnership with the Entertainment Community Fund, the Friedman Health Center provides primary and specialist care to those in the performing arts.

  • Weill Cornell Medicine Center for the Performing Artist
    A comprehensive clinic geared towards performing artists, from one of the top medical institutions in NYC. In addition to more general services, they provide treatment for conditions that may specifically affect performing artists, such as vocal or movement disorders and injuries.

  • Law Help NY – Health
    Free and low-cost legal assistance on health topics, including insurance coverage, Medicare/Medicaid, immigrant health, and many other topics.

2. Sexual and Reproductive Health

  • NYC Sexual Health Clinics
    Government-funded health clinics providing free or low-cost testing/treatment for STIs, as well as services related to medication abortion.

  • NYC Sexual Health Express Clinics
    Fast and free testing for common STIs, only for those currency experiencing no symptoms.

  • New York State Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care Services Program
    A network of government-funded clinics that provide birth control, emergency contraception, free condoms, STI screening and treatment, and referrals at a variety of cost structures.

  • Planned Parenthood of Greater New York
    The local chapter of Planned Parenthood, providing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services at a variety of cost structures, as well as gender-affirming care.

  • GMHC
    GMHC provides free testing for common STIs, with a special focus on testing and care for those living with HIV/AIDS. Though originally founded to support gay men, GMHC fully welcomes people of all genders and identities.

  • New York State Abortion Providers
    A list of abortion providers in New York State, from the New York State Department of Health.

  • Law Help NY – Abortion and Contraception
    Free and low-cost legal assistance on reproductive topics, including on the legality of abortion and birth control, and the legal rights of pregnant people in New York State.

3. Mental Health

  • 988 (formerly NYC Well)
    988 is New York City’s mental health hotline covering everything from immediate suicide prevention and crisis counseling, to referrals to further resources. You can call the hotline, text, or chat with an operator via the website. Operators are available 24/7 in more than 200 languages. You can also call 988 to request a Mobile Crisis Team for yourself or another person.

  • Thrive NYC 
    A comprehensive guide to New York City mental health initiatives and resources, including avenues of support.

  • SAMHSA National Helpline
    Information and treatment referral for those experiencing mental health or substance misuse disorders, as well as their families and loved ones.

  • Mental Health Resources for New Yorkers in the LGBTQI+ Community
    A list of wide-ranging mental health resources for queer and transgender individuals in NYC. The list is published by ThriveNYC, but primarily consists of organizations and nonprofits that are not directly affiliated with the government.

  • Mental Health Resources for LGBTQIA+ Artists (from IndieSpace)
    A previously published IndieSpace post with resources, spaces, and therapists that have been personally recommended to us by LGBTQIA+ identifying individuals and/or researched and vetted by the IndieSpace team.

  • Mental Health Resources for Black Theatre Artists (from IndieSpace)
    A previously-published IndieSpace post with mental health resources for Black theater artists. This shares healing resources, therapist and counseling directories, and Black mental health podcasts.

  • National Eating Disorders Association
    Information and treatment referrals for those struggling with eating disorders.

  • Creatives Care
    A New York City nonprofit that provides free, personalized guidance and referrals for artists and creatives seeking mental health treatment.

  • Open Path Psychotherapy Collective
    A nonprofit that provides low-cost therapy services to those who do not have health insurance, or whose insurance lacks adequate mental health coverage.

  • Low Cost Therapy NYC
    A comprehensive guide to different kinds of low-cost therapy services in New York City.


VTF grants are made through Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, a donor-advised fund. All grants are prospective until approved by the staff/board of the Tides Foundation. These guidelines are for informational purposes only, and contain no commitment, implied or otherwise, to make any particular grants. VTF reserves the right to change its funding philosophy and/or granting practice at any time without prior notification.