News: RAP ON HEALTH: "I Do Have Health Care Thanks To Def Jam Records" -Juelz Santana

Monday, Oct 12, 2009 10:00AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

While many working Americans are undecided about the need to have health care insurance, entertainers like Juelz Santana have placed a high emphasis on gaining coverage through their employers.

According to Santana, an artist's popularity and value are usually considered by record labels when determining what to include in a recording contract.

"I don't know who it's by, I forgot, I gotta dip in my wallet," Santana laughingly admitted about his health insurance. "I do have health care, you know what I mean, thanks to Def Jam Records. Nah, you gotta have health care. I mean, at the end of the day, you got a lot of artists that are just getting into the game right now, too, you dig what I'm saying? At the end of the day, it depends on what type of artist you are, I guess. I can't say I can get everything, but I may can get more than what some artists can get. Ya dig what I'm saying? And that's all through the [position] you put yourself in. I always like that. So at the same time, the way Jay-Z could probably go in and ask for more, I can probably go in and get more than a new artist that hasn't really done nothing for the label that's just asking for health care. You know what I mean? I asked for all the little things [in my contract], all the little accessories I could get. I need every little accessory and ammenity that comes with this sh*t. I need it all man." (SOHH)

Employers are reportedly offering new plans to employees which would impact health coverage options.

This year, more employers may include a new type of plan that can chop premium payments by nearly 20 percent and give consumers a tax break. The tradeoff is higher deductibles, which have the potential to swamp customers with big bills. The plans, called consumer-directed health plans, vary from employer to employer and require careful comparison with other choices before making the switch. (Associated Press)

The result would be families having to pay high-end costs prior to receiving coverage.

The deductibles - which start around $1,200 a year and can approach $10,000 for family coverage - make the customer pay more out-of-pocket for care before most coverage starts. The idea is to give clients an incentive to spend carefully, while providing protection from devastating medical bills. Some plans also provide annual physicals and other screenings at no cost to patients to encourage basic and preventive care that can stave off bigger bills down the line. Some employers help cover the out-of-pocket cost by funding what's called a health reimbursement arrangement for employees to tap. The money belongs to the company and stays with it if an employee leaves. (Charlotte Observer)

Although a bill could be passed in the near future, reports claim the effects would not kick-in until nearly four years from now.

Sixty years is how long Democrats say they've been pushing for legislation that provides health care access for all Americans. They'll have to wait three more if President Obama gets a bill to sign this year. Under Democratic bills being considered, federal tax credits to help make health insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income households won't start until 2013. Medicare cuts and a sizable chunk of the tax increases to pay for the changes kick in immediately. (USA Today)

Be sure to stay tuned as SOHH Presents: Hip-Hop & Healthcare is featured this month.

Check out a portion of Juelz Santana's SOHH interview below:

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