Tuesday Buzz: Photographers Association Helps Members Get Insured

With the assistance of the group that represents them, freelance photographers will soon have access to affordable healthcare. Plus: An LGBT legal group shows support for Charlie Sheen after his public disclosure of HIV.

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) wants to ensure that its members have easy access to something that isn’t always easy to get in the world of freelancing.

PPA recently announced it would launch a healthcare exchange for its members, PPA Private Exchange, an endeavor the association created through a partnership with Lighthouse Benefit Resources.

The exchange will help the group’s members, who are mostly freelance photographers, find a plan that fits their individual needs and financial situations, the association says. Health, dental, vision, and pet insurance are among the list of coverage options offered by PPA.

“At PPA we listen to the needs and concerns of our members and work hard to provide the services you are seeking,” Sarah Ackerman, PPA’s interactive marketing specialist, wrote in a blog announcing the benefit. “Over the past couple of years, you asked for affordable, competitive health insurance, so here it is!”

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that 60 percent of photographers in 2012 were self-employed, this announcement has the potential to take a significant burden off the minds of industry professionals.

Other benefits offered through the exchange include discounts on prescriptions, a personal policy advisor, and online resources to help members navigate applications.

Contextualizing Sheen

This morning a major star revealed to the world that not only is he HIV-positive but he has paid millions to hide that fact from the public.

Charlie Sheen, the former star of the popular sitcom Two and a Half Men and an accomplished film actor whose career has, at times, been overshadowed by his troubled personal life, announced on NBC’s Today show that he has HIV, the virus causes AIDS.

“I was doing a lot of drugs,” he said of the period after learning he had contracted the disease. “I was drinking way too much. I was making a lot of bad decisions.”

Seeing an opportunity to better explain HIV to the public, and to get ahead of reactions that could paint Sheen and others in a negative light, the LGBT nonprofit Lambda Legal spoke up about the news. In a blog post on Tuesday, lawyer Scott Schoettes explained how the disease has changed over the years and what the public should know about treatment options and the risk factors involved.

“We hope that Mr. Sheen’s announcement will advance the conversation about HIV and AIDS in this country,” Schoettes wrote.

Other Links of Note

How secure is Windows 10? According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who spoke at an event in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, it’s the “most secure operating system” out there.

An experiment in Boston worth watching: The city is offering free salary-negotiation classes to women, in an attempt to close Beantown’s pay gap.

The world of ABC’s Shark Tank is often filled with lots of embarrassing failures and snarky comments by talkative investors, but, occasionally, there are gems that reveal some great business sense. Inc. highlights a few entrepreneurial ideas from this year that have broken through and made an impact.


Eli Zimmerman

By Eli Zimmerman

Eli is studying Journalism at the University of Maryland. When not studying, he likes to relax with a nice book or a couple rounds at the local boxing gym. MORE

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