Rural Health

We work with you to promote policy that makes health insurance affordable for small businesses, entrepreneurs and family farmers and ranchers and to ensure policy supports small town doctors, clinics and hospitals.

Rural people have less access to health networks and health care providers, greater rates of disability and chronic diseases, and higher use of all public health care programs. Because of high rates of self-employment and small business employment, rural Americans have lower rates of employer-provided benefits. We're more likely to be underinsured or uninsured for longer periods of time. The 50 million people in rural America are most in need of health care system reform. And we have much to contribute to any reform debate.

Health care is also a major barrier to rural economic development that creates genuine opportunity and reduces poverty. Micro-enterprise and small business development is the most effective path in many communities for low and moderate-income rural people to pull themselves out of poverty. But if small entrepreneurs cannot gain affordable access to health care for themselves or their employees, that path is blocked. Any hope of building genuine economic opportunity for struggling rural Americans through entrepreneurship must be accompanied by reforming the health care system in a way that benefits both small business owners and their employees.

For more information on how the Affordable Care Act will work for you, your business or your community visit this page.

Get Covered Calculator: Estimate Your Costs - calculate your estimated monthly health insurance cost.
Healthcare Exchange Calculator in Spanish - from the Kaiser Family Foundation website.

Confused about health care options? Get a Health Care 101 here

Rural Health Notes

 

A Tale of Two States: Insurance Premiums in Border Counties of Nebraska and Iowa

Nebraska’s decision not to participate in Medicaid expansion has contributed to higher health insurance premiums compared to Iowa. Nebraska’s decision not to expand Medicaid changed its health insurance marketplace pool. That resulted in higher health insurance premiums for most Nebraskans. When age and health plan level are combined, the annual cost difference can be significant. For example, a hypothetical 60 year old Nebraska couple would pay nearly $500 more annually for a Bronze plan.

Download the report as a pdf below!

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Corrections Reform and Medicaid Redesign

Two important issues are emerging in the 2015 Nebraska Legislature - corrections reform, necessary because of severe overcrowding in the state’s prisons, and LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, which would reform the state’s Medicaid program and offer healthcare coverage to approximately 54,000 modest-income, working Nebraskans.

5 Reasons Rural Nebraska Needs the Medicaid Redesign Act

The Medicaid Redesign Act, LB 472, is critical for rural Nebraska. It’s intended to provide low-income working Nebraskans with health insurance. LB 472 would create a Nebraska-specific plan for cost-effective health care for the coverage gap population of about 54,000. It would create a Medicaid Redesign Task Force of members of the Nebraska Legislature and the executive branch to review the state’s Medicaid program and provide recommendations to improve quality, to innovate the program and to save costs.

Redesigning Medicaid in Montana

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to medical care. Disease prevention and early intervention is so much cheaper than treating a disease or injury after it has progressed.