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.

Rural Health Notes

 

Nebraska's uninsured and the coverage gap by legislative district

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey estimates about 141,000 Nebraskans are without health insurance, and about 97,000 of them are employed. This map includes American Community Survey’s five-year estimate of the number of Nebraskans falling into the coverage gap, as well as estimated percentages of working age population without health coverage and those who are employed without coverage.

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Nebraska's uninsured and the coverage gap by county

The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey estimates about 141,000 Nebraskans are without health insurance, and about 97,000 of them are employed. This map includes American Community Survey’s five-year estimate of the number of Nebraskans falling into the coverage gap, as well as estimated percentages of working age population without health coverage and those who are employed without coverage.

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State line determines access to health care coverage

The 102nd meridian and 41st parallel separate Colorado and Nebraska. When crossing this artificial barrier, you will not see a big change in the landscape, people, or towns. However arbitrary these borders may be, your place on either side can greatly change your access to one important service: Medicaid.

No Medicaid, no normalcy for the Lockwoods

​Deb and Curtis Lockwood have lived and worked in the Fremont area for most of their lives. They raised children, welcomed grandchildren, and began to plan for a comfortable retirement. As far as anyone could see, they were living the American dream.

When Medicaid expanded in late 2018, the Lockwoods did not believe they would need it. After one unexpected injury and a bureaucratic nightmare, today, they find themselves waiting for coverage they desperately need.

Delaying expansion will cost Nebraska hundreds of millions

When Nebraska voters expanded Medicaid coverage last November, they recognized not only the health benefits of expanded insurance coverage, but also the economic impact of it. Expansion is estimated to stimulate nearly $1.3 billion in economic activity in the first three years of implementation. Yet, Nebraska remains nearly a year and a half away from realizing these benefits.