Tarrant County musicians eligible for health care through Voice Care Program

Musicians and music industry workers living in Tarrant County now have the opportunity to receive income-based health care through a new program.

“Hear Fort Worth” is an initiative of Visit Fort Worth, which partnered with JPS Health Network to create Sound Care to provide health care options for those in the music industry. Sound Care provides preventive care and treatment to musicians and their families as they continue to establish themselves in North Texas.

“We want to make sure that everyone is taken care of and has access to health care,” said Tom Martens, director of the Fort Worth Hearing Center.

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Those who qualify for care will have access to care beyond physical exams, screenings, blood tests and vision. Their families can also see a doctor or nurse practitioner and receive treatment at any JPS Health Network location in Tarrant County.

“When a lot of people get sick, it does put a financial burden on them,” Martens said. “If we can get people to take these early steps to make sure they can take care of themselves and have some form of daily routine, we think that can help them mitigate huge costs in the long run.”

Sound Care isn’t just for musicians. Other music industry professionals, such as sound and lighting technicians, are also eligible. After an application is submitted, a JPS Health Network representative will interview the applicant and ask further questions. Marten said the process takes about 30 minutes.

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Care co-pays are on a sliding scale based on the applicant’s income.

The program launches in April 2024.

Daniel Alvarez is a Fort Worth musician and founder of North Texas talent booking team NoiseRot. He said he discovered the show at a monthly mixer in Fort Worth.

“The application process is pretty simple,” Alvarez said. “I think it’s a fantastic idea that an entry-level professional musician can get medical support in a career that’s very competitive and not that lucrative.”

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CJ Serrato (aka Spcmn) is a producer, engineer and musician from Fort Worth. He said he’s glad the Fort Worth Visitors Bureau is going out of its way to help musicians in his hometown.

“Not every musician can afford basic medical care, especially given how crazy the past few years have been,” Serratos said. “I’m proud to live in a city that has something like Sound Care.”

Music industry professionals interested in Sound Care can find out more at the Hear Fort Worth Mixer and Open Mic on May 7 at Southside Preservation Hall.

Tarrant County musicians can apply for Sound Care online or in person at a JPS Health Network location.

Arts Access is an arts journalism partnership powered by The Dallas Morning News and KERA.

This community-funded journalism initiative is supported by Better Together Fund, Carol & Don Glendenning, City of Dallas OAC, Texas Community Foundation, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas Foundation, Eugene McDermott Fund Association, James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, Jennifer and Peter Altabef and Meadows Foundation. The News and KERA retain full editorial control over Arts Access news.

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