Health Care Reform: What’s in It for Rural Individuals and Families

The Affordable Care Act, the federal health reform law, contains many provisions reforming health insurance. Several popular reforms took effect on September 23, 2010. This report discusses these and their consequences for rural people.

Taken together, rural residents are sicker and do less to prevent chronic conditions and their natural outcomes — or they are sicker because of less access to preventive care and services. No matter the reason, the new health care reform law now provides insured rural residents and their families a broad menu of preventive care services at no cost. 

Ultimately, our health care system will become stable and sustainable only if people become healthier and reduce health care costs attributable to chronic diseases. This provision has the potential to make significant progress toward that goal.