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

 

Rural Rapport - Facebook Live

Join us each Tuesday at noon for our Facebook Live series, Rural Rapport. Each week, a Center staff member will share a resources and information on a range of topics. 

Can't watch it live? No problem. Watch anytime at facebook.com/ruralaffairs

Here are the topics our staff have presented so far: 

Addressing Obesity in Nebraska’s Youth: Water Consumption in Schools

Due to the time young people spend there, schools are a natural location for proactive, cost-effective interventions to reduce obesity. Policy options to do so include more access to no-cost drinking water, education, promotion of water as a substitute for sugary beverages, and inclusion of water fountains and/or water bottle filling stations in new school buildings.

File attachments: 

Your View: Medicaid benefits at last

For most of us, the nearly two years that have passed since Nebraskans voted to expand Medicaid might be inconsequential. But, for 90,000 people stuck in the coverage gap the passing time has gone by without peace of mind.

To put it differently, about 1 in 20 Nebraskans could be covered by an expanded Medicaid program. They continue to wait without health care access. That means almost two years of no doctors appointments, no dental checkups, and no hospital visits unless it is an absolute emergency.