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 2016 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates that about 180,000 Nebraskans are without health insurance, and about 105,000 of them are employed. This map includes ACS’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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National Rural Health Day celebrates progress

Healthy rural residents help maintain and create vibrant rural communities. To achieve both, citizens, communities, and policy makers must recognize and address the unique health needs of the nation’s rural residents. National Rural Health Day, Nov. 15, 2018, is a day to celebrate the uniqueness of rural health care and those who innovate to help deliver equitable access and services.

Rural residents grapple with shifting long-term care system

Across the nation, Americans are making tough decisions about long-term health care for themselves and their loved ones. Access to a level of care that meets their unique needs can determine if families remain together, or if their loved ones will have to move miles away.

Long-term care facilities, commonly referred to as nursing homes, are crucial to providing a level of care that many families cannot offer to their loved ones. In rural areas of our country, accessing long-term care is becoming increasingly challenging.

Nebraska’s shifting long-term care system may leave rural residents out

Consistent with the nation, rural Nebraskans are aging at a faster rate than their urban counterparts. Unfortunately, a shifting long-term care system may leave them behind. Over the last decade, 23 long-term care facilities have closed across rural areas of the state. At the same time, 753 beds were lost – indicating a troubling shift for rural Nebraskans whose well-being depends on access to long-term care.