Pianist Eden Chen Launches Healthcare Tailored for Musicians
Chen's organization, Goldfinch, provides accessible healthcare and insurance for artists, helping them build sustainable careers in music
Founded by pianist and Juilliard graduate Eden Chen in 2021, Goldfinch has partnered with healthcare and insurance professionals to provide health benefits and expertise for classical musicians.
Now run by a team of musicians and professionals, Goldfinch was created to provide greater access to healthcare for musicians faced with injury or illness, and having to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system with little support. It also addresses the needs of artists who are not full-time employees and can be left with limited options for suitable healthcare.
Acknowledging the varied physical demands of playing professionally as well as the need for frequent travel, Goldfinch has collaborated with Mira and Bespoke Physical Therapy to provide access to primary care, mental health therapy, and physical therapy.
Membership with Goldfinch costs $9.99 per month and provides access to 40% discounts on in-person and virtual physical therapy from Bespoke Treatments, which has over 10 years’ of experience in treating musicians and sports athletes.
The subscription also offers 15% discounts on plans with Mira — a health delivery network and specialist care provider — saving artists hundreds of dollars on paying out-of-pocket for primary care, mental health therapy, prescription drugs, and gym memberships. The program can also be combined with musicians’ existing health insurance or benefits.
The Violin Channel spoke with Chen on the beginnings of Goldfinch.
VC: What was your inspiration behind starting this initiative? What gap did you see in the industry?
Chen: In 2019, I got really sick. I was scared and the only thing I could think about was making it through. What was waiting for me at the end was 6 months of confusing medical bills and phone calls. When you’re sick or injured, that’s the last thing you want to worry about.
A lot of affordable health benefits in the US are tied to having full-time employment. This leaves lots of musicians, who work freelance, without access. People end up skipping on the care they need to stay healthy because it’s too expensive.
Goldfinch steps in here: you can expect to pay about $30/month for access to affordable healthcare, compared to the $400-$600/month you’d otherwise pay to an insurance company.
Who is this coverage best suited for?
There are no age, health, or employment requirements to get health benefits through Goldfinch! We’re geared towards recent graduates and early-career musicians. Goldfinch works best if you are relatively healthy — our discounted services are designed to keep you healthy, saving you the trouble and cost of treating more severe health conditions by preventing them early. Our partners’ services are currently centered in the New York and Tri-State area.
What differentiates your plan/partners from other healthcare plans?
Our program is designed with musicians’ needs in mind. Flexible online scheduling/billing, great customer service and virtual/mailable services are important for the on-the-go musician. We also include the specialized PT (physical therapy) musicians need that normally isn’t covered by general insurance.
One great aspect of our program is that it can be combined with any existing health insurance or benefits you may already have. This gives everyone the flexibility to customize healthcare to their own needs.
Why did you make physical therapy a priority?
PT is so important to the life of a musician. We’re essentially athletes in the way we place repetitive strain on specialized muscles. The Goldfinch team has had first-hand experience with how debilitating music-related injuries can be. Not only does it cut off a source of income, but it also takes a huge emotional and mental toll to not be able to play, or to have an injury keep you from playing your best. That’s why we’ve partnered with Bespoke Treatments to deliver great PT. They work with the NBA and NFL and have had 10+ years of working with musicians.
For more information and to subscribe, click here.
A graduate of The Juilliard School, Goldfinch founder Eden Chen has worked and performed with the Lang Lang International Music Foundation and been a representative at the inaugural Leeds Piano Festival, City of Shenzhen’s Exposition in the City of New York, and Las Vegas’ JBLFest. He is also an incoming MBA candidate at Columbia Business School.