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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Lost Medicaid Dollars to top $700 Million in Montana Alone

Montana is leaving a lot of money on the table. So are other states that haven’t expanded their Medicaid program for low-income residents as the Affordable Care Act provided.

Since Jan 1, 2014, Montana has been forfeiting about $2 million per day in federal funds that could provide health insurance for around 69,000 low-income families and individuals. By Christmas of 2014, this means over $700 million has been forfeited, money that could have been supporting local hospitals and strengthening both the health and the economies of our communities.

Veterans Should Have Health Coverage

This Veteran’s Day we honor those who serve and have served our country. Veterans put their lives on the line to protect our independence, our freedom, and all the rights we hold dear. Now is the time to fight for them by ensuring they have access to health coverage.
 

Medicaid Expansion: Bring Our Tax Dollars Home

Nebraska is leaving a lot of money on the table. So are other states that haven’t expanded their Medicaid program for low-income residents as the Affordable Care Act provided.

Since Jan 1, 2014, Nebraska has been forfeiting $930,096/day in federal funds that could provide health insurance for around 59,000 low-income families and individuals. As of Oct 28, 2014, the amount of forfeited federal funds amounted to over $280 million.