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Health Reform for Rural Americans

Freedom Benefits is pleased to promote the improvements provided by the Affordable Care Act of 2010


Lower Costs for Rural Americans

Insurance Reforms that Save Families Money

Caps what insurance companies can require families to pay in out-of-pocket expenses, such as co-pays and deductibles, prohibits lifetime limits on how much insurance companies cover if beneficiaries get sick, and regulates the use of annual limits to ensure access to necessary care, until 2014 when annual limits are prohibited. This will help rural families, who pay for nearly half of their health insurance costs out of their own pocket, and the one in five farmers in medical debt, with their health care bills and provide the peace of mind that they will have coverage when they need it.

Premium Relief for Working Families

Requires premium rate reviews to track any arbitrary premium increases, cracks down on excessive insurance overhead by applying standards on how much insurance companies can spend on non-medical costs, such as bureaucracy and advertising, and provides consumers a rebate if non-medical costs are too high. Provides sliding scale premium tax credits for families that cannot afford quality health insurance.
Greater Choices for Rural Americans

Eliminates Insurance Company Discrimination

Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage based on health status, ends discrimination that charges beneficiaries more if they are sick, and limits the amount an insurance company can increase an individual’s premium simply due to their age. o Provides people who have health problems, but who lack access to health insurance, access to a plan that protects them from medical bankruptcy, within 90 days of enactment. This high risk pool is a stop-gap measure that will serve as a bridge to a reformed health insurance marketplace.

More Affordable Choices and Competition

Creates state-based health insurance Exchanges to provide a variety of choices, including private options, co-ops, and multi-state plans, to foster competition and increase choice. In many rural states, one insurance company dominates more than 80 percent of the market, meaning that there are often only one or two insurance companies offering health plans in the individual and small group markets.

One-Stop Shopping

Provides standardized, easy-to-compare information through the Exchange on different health insurance plans offered in a geographic area to allow for easy comparison of prices and health plans so families can decide which quality affordable option is right for them. This will particularly benefit one-third of farmers who purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company – more than three times the national average.

Insurance Security

Ensures that rural families always have guaranteed choices of quality, affordable health insurance whether they lose their job, switch jobs, move or get sick, through creation of Exchanges. 

Quality, Affordable Health Care for Rural Americans

 More Doctors Where People Need Them

Invests in the health care workforce to ensure that people in rural areas have access to doctors, nurses, and high quality health care. More than doubles funding for the National Health Service Corps, provides more resources to medical schools to train physicians to work in rural and underserved areas, and establishes a loan repayment program for pediatric specialists who agree to practice in medically underserved areas such a rural regions. These provisions will help approximately 65 million Americans lack access to primary care services due to provider shortages – many of those without access to primary care are rural Americans.

 Preventive Care for Better Health

Ensures that all Americans have access to free preventive services under their health insurance plans and invests in prevention and public health to encourage innovations in health care that prevent illness and disease before they require more costly treatment. Rural Americans are less likely to receive needed preventive care, such as mammograms and pap smears for women, or routine foot, eye, and blood testing for diabetics.

 Tax Credits for Rural Small Business

Provides sliding scale tax credits to enable rural, small businesses to provide health benefits to their employees. Nearly one-third of rural Americans work for small businesses, and more than half of them remain uninsured as their employers struggle to provide health benefits.

 Protect Access to Care in Rural Communities

Ensures that hospitals and other providers in rural and remote communities receive the reimbursement they need to offer quality care to patients and keep their doors open. Ensures that rural health care providers receive appropriate Medicare reimbursements to address longstanding inequities that exist among providers from different geographic regions. Helps the many small and rural communities where patients must travel long distances between health care providers to receive medical care.

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This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.