Affordable Care Act Has Implications for Farm Families

Considering the high cost of health insurance, farm families should become familiar with changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach human sciences specialists in family finance discuss the implications for farm families in the August issue of Ag Decision Maker.

“For the farm community and the public at large, a great deal of confusion has surrounded the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Uncertainties remain in terms of the costs and benefits associated with its implementation,” said Suzanne Bartholomae. “However, many of the new provisions of the ACA may address some of the issues faced by farm families when it comes to health coverage.”

The health insurance consumption patterns of Iowa farmers differ from the population at large, USDA research shows. Iowa farm operators tend to have greater rates of insurance coverage than the general population, partially because of the dangerous nature of farming. To get health insurance coverage, family members often take off-farm jobs.

“Farmers use health insurance to protect their farms from risk, and many farm operations support multiple farm families,” added Susan Taylor.

Bartholomae and Taylor examine the Health Insurance Marketplace, essential benefits, tax credits and cost-sharing options. See the complete story in the Ag Decision Maker newsletter.

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