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

 

Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska

Last year, voters accomplished what the Legislature could not—the expansion of Medicaid coverage for 90,000 Nebraskans in the insurance coverage gap. These residents earn too little to qualify for subsidies to purchase coverage from the insurance marketplace and too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid.

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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.

Expansion efforts hit snags in states where voters expand coverage

On April 1, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) submitted a State Plan Amendment to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for review. The plan is a key first step to expanding the state’s Medicaid program to provide health insurance to those in the coverage gap. Pending approval, the plan outlines an October 2020 timeline for enrollment. This leaves hardworking Nebraskans in the coverage gap for nearly two years after the passage of the ballot Initiative 427.

Expedient timeline for Medicaid expansion implementation needed

The deadline is fast approaching for the Department of Health and Human Services to complete the next step of implementation of Medicaid expansion in Nebraska. A state plan amendment is due to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by April 1, 2019, as was set forth in ballot Initiative 427, and approved by voters last November.