Oscar-winning actor says that celebrity status didn’t boost health insurance access

Health insurance - Oscar trophy

Hilary Swank recently shared that despite her accolades, she couldn’t afford coverage

Hilary Swank recently revealed that while people make assumptions about the wealth of award-winning actors, not everyone sees great advantage to their finances or health insurance access just because they win a trophy.

Days after winning her Oscar, she didn’t have coverage

Only days after Swank received the Oscar for her Boys Don’t Cry role in 2000, she went to the pharmacy to pick up some medication. That said, when she arrived at the counter to pay for the purchase, she discovered that she didn’t have health insurance.

Health Insurance - Not Covered

Swank shared this story to illustrate her point that just because celebrities are in the spotlight, it doesn’t mean that they’re living a luxurious and glamorous life or that they qualify for coverage.

“It seems so obvious, right? I’m winning an Academy Award, I’m super famous, it’s all glamorous…,” said the actor in a recent interview with The Independent. “But I made $US3000 (about $4600) the year I did Boys Don’t Cry, and you had to make $US5000 (about $7600) in order to qualify for health insurance.”

The lack of health insurance was Swanks way to say you can’t assume about celebrities

Swank said that the lack of health insurance was only an example of a broader issue that she often faced.  She explained that the fame in her life brought with it a misconception about how she was living.

The actor won a second Oscar for her 2005 role in Million Dollar Baby.  That said, by then she had accumulated the shares she required for health insurance qualification.  Still, the feeling of having to live without coverage left a heavy mark on her, becoming one of the reasons she took on her more recent role in the Ordinary Angels film in which a hairdresser living in a small town abandons everything to help a child who was waiting for a liver transplant though her family didn’t have the money to pay for it.

Inspiration in her career

Since Swank’s own battle with obtaining coverage, many roles in her career have had to do with issues of health and the broader challenges associated with them.  

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