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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Gallup Poll Shows Sharp Drop in the Uninsured Rate

Gallup, the polling and survey organization, recently reported on the nation’s uninsured rate since enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces began. The overall uninsured rate in the second quarter of 2014 (after the initial open enrollment period of the ACA) fell to an historical low.

It was the lowest quarterly average recorded since Gallup began tracking the percentage of uninsured Americans in 2008. (In the third quarter of 2013, just before the health insurance marketplaces opened, the national uninsured rate was the highest ever.)

Compassion and Care Reflect the Best Human Values

I was four when mom fell and cut her leg while gardening. After that, she had trouble walking. What I didn’t understand at the time was that rheumatoid arthritis had been slowly creeping into her joints for years. She was on her way to becoming bedridden.

Thus I began learning my way around the kitchen at age five. When I started school a year later, it was my responsibility to walk the two blocks home during lunch period and prepare a meal for mom.

Millions of Americans Enroll for Health Insurance

The initial health insurance enrollment period in the Affordable Care Act has come and gone. Early figures are promising. They show 7.5 million Americans have enrolled in private insurance through the federal and state marketplace. This figure met both administration goals and Congressional Budget Office projections for the initial ACA open enrollment period.