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

 

Medicaid Expansion as a Rural Issue: Rural and Urban States and the Expansion Decision

This report looks at the differences between rural and urban states in their decision on expanding the Medicaid program as provided for in the Affordable Care Act.

More rural states appear to be less likely to expand Medicaid. Thus a significant number of low-income, working rural residents are left in a "coverage gap." They earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to qualify for health insurance marketplace premium tax credits.

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Keep Calm and Carry on with Healthcare.gov

Officially, the open period for enrolling in the new healthcare marketplace expired at midnight, March 31st. However, consumers who began their enrollment through healthcare.gov or the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Call Center and, through no fault of their own, have been unable to complete the process by the deadline have been granted a special enrollment extension. Consumers enrolling after March 31st will have to attest that they tried to enroll prior to the end of open enrollment.

We Are Rural: Health

You expect us to take on tough issues, the ones that shape the destiny of small towns and rural communities. Health care is a perfect example.

With your help, we fought to extend Medicaid so that people who need health insurance can afford it. Our rural organizer, Virginia, joined others on the capitol steps in Lincoln, Nebraska, to relay that message.

Put People Above Politics, Part II

Debate over LB 887, the Wellness in Nebraska Act, promises to be a major issue facing the Nebraska Legislature. LB 887 would expand Medicaid to an estimated 54,000 people through a combination of private health insurance and wellness incentives.

Despite providing needed private health benefits to a population that is in the coverage gap – uninsured, ineligible for insurance marketplace tax credits because their incomes are too low, and without employer-sponsored insurance – some still object to LB 887.