A Health Care Marketplace that Works for Rural

Don't you wish there were a marketplace where you could go and easily compare health insurance policies for your family or small business?

Right now, your Department of Insurance is responsible for addressing this need by setting up a state marketplace (or maybe you've heard them called a "health insurance exchange") before 2014 to help rural people access health insurance.

At this marketplace you will be able to buy health insurance for yourself, your family, or the employees of your small business. Your state's Department of Insurance needs to hear from you today about how our marketplace should be structured to best serve the unique needs of rural Americans. Click here to find out who your insurance commissioner is and how to contact her or him.

Here are some points to address in your comments:  

  • Quality insurance plans should be available and accessible. The marketplace should include plans that provide choice and quality for consumers. To access these plans, we need both web-based and non web-based platforms, including phone and in-person options with trained public and private entities who can help rural residents navigate the marketplace.  

  • Governance of the marketplace must be transparent and represent the interests of consumers. The people most likely to buy from the marketplace (self employed, farmers and ranchers, small business owners) should be represented on the governance board. The board should be diverse in geography, expertise, and age. Individuals with a direct conflict of interest due to a financial stake in the health system should not be on the board.  
     
  • The marketplace should help individuals and small businesses pool together to negotiate for better rates. This is what big businesses do now. By allowing the new marketplace to negotiate on behalf of large pools of individuals and small businesses, we can put them back on an even playing field with the deals big business gets. Rural small businesses, their employees, and families will benefit from this function of the marketplace. Personal stories will make your comments much more powerful. Has the new health care law already benefited you, your family, or your employees? How will the marketplace be a valuable resource for you? What are your main priorities as the Department of Insurance works to develop this health insurance marketplace for Nebraskans? Be sure to include these stories in your comments below.

Personal stories will make your comments much more powerful. Has the new health care law already benefited you, your family, or your employees? How will the marketplace be a valuable resource for you? What are your main priorities as the Department of Insurance works to develop this health insurance marketplace? Be sure to include these stories in your comments below.