Rural Health News

Stories from the coverage gap: Linda teeters on the edge

Knock. Knock. Linda, a retired woman in her sixties, comes to the front door of her rural Nebraska home on a rainy, summer day. She offered to let me in, wondering what had me out in the poor weather.

The door was just one that I approached when the Center for Rural Affairs joined the effort in gathering signatures for a petition to put Medicaid expansion on the public ballot. Our organization helped gather 105,000 signatures, and now Initiative 427 will be put before Nebraskans in a matter of days.

What if you vote yes on Medicaid expansion

For seven years, rural Nebraskans in the health insurance coverage gap have heard all the what if scenarios around Medicaid expansion. At the same time, they have dealt with the what ifs of purchasing their heart medication or putting food on the table. On Nov. 6, voters will have the chance to decide the best scenario for Nebraskans when they vote on Initiative 427.

Health care coverage for half million to be decided this November

This November, voters in Idaho, Nebraska, Montana, and Utah will decide whether to extend health insurance coverage to a combined half million hardworking, low-income Americans. These people fall into the coverage gap – meaning they earn too little to qualify for subsidies to purchase coverage from the insurance marketplace and too much to be eligible for Medicaid.

Rural Nebraska’s stake in Medicaid expansion

Rural Nebraskans are at a distinct disadvantage in their ability to access health care coverage. Combined with the limited availability of health care providers and facilities, this disadvantage grows as consideration is given to the socioeconomics of health care access. Rural populations are older, have fewer financial resources and have more health concerns than the general population.

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