CFRA Explains Importance of Affordable Care Act for Rural Americans

The Center for Rural Affairs yesterday released a new report examining how the Affordable Care Act will provide tax credits and subsidies through new health insurance marketplaces to make healthcare more affordable. CFRA Director of Rural Research and Analysis Jon Bailey says Americans will face a new world of health insurance purchasing on October 1st - opening the doors for many individuals and families to purchase health insurance from state-operated or federally facilitated health insurance marketplaces. Bailey says the affordability of insurance will determine the success of the primary goals of the Act. Rural Americans are responsible for nearly 22-percent more of their total healthcare costs than urban or suburban residents - according to Bailey - and a greater proportion of rural residents struggle with nearly every chronic disease or condition than urban residents while also receiving fewer regular medical check-ups.

Bailey says many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are particularly applicable to rural people because of rural demographics as well as the unique healthcare challenges and economic circumstances of rural areas. With generally lower rural incomes combined with higher uninsured rates - he says more rural residents are likely to be eligible for cost-sharing assistance in the exchanges.

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