Employers want to limit ACA costs, but few have estimated them
February 26, 2013
NE school districts may cut hours, jobs to meet ACA
February 26, 2013
Show all

States cope with serving rural residents under ACA

As state governments address the changes mandated by the Affordable Care Act, many are grappling to ensure their health insurance exchange properly serves all residents equally. States composed of rural areas are confronting the challenges of reaching localities that aren’t heavily populated.

While nearly one-fourth of the population resides in rural America, only about 10 percent of U.S. physicians practice in these areas, according to the National Rural Health Association. In addition, rural residents tends to be poorer than urban dwellers and farmland locals are less likely to have employer-sponsored healthcare.

Minnesota is among the states that must cater to a large rural population. Last year, the state announced it will create a local exchange independent from the federal government. While other states only recently announced a partnership with or full reliance on Washington to build their healthcare marketplaces, Minnesota is relatively ahead in terms of implementation. The state exchange is expected to serve roughly 1.3 million residents, including 300,000 who are currently uninsured, Duluth News Tribune reports.

Minnesota’s state-based exchange will provide healthcare consumers with important information related to providers, networks, ratings and plans. This ability, which federal systems are expected to lack, is especially important for rural residents who may live several hours away from a primary care doctor, the newspaper points out. 

Share this:
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *