Letter: Rural residents likely eligible for cost sharing
To the editor:
The new healthcare law provides tax credits and subsidies to make health insurance more affordable for many. A new Center for Rural Affairs report (http://files.cfra.org/pdf/ACA-subsidies.pdf) summarizes these provisions, how they will work, and their importance to rural Americans.
Rural residents are responsible for nearly 22 percent more of their total health care costs (premiums and out-of-pocket costs) than are urban or suburban residents. Rural areas also have generally lower incomes. Combined with higher uninsured and underinsured rates, more rural residents are likely to be eligible for cost-sharing assistance and receive more valuable health insurance through the new health insurance marketplaces.
Cost-sharing and limiting out-of-pocket medical expenses will be crucial for many rural families. The proportion of rural residents with nearly every chronic disease or condition is higher than in urban centers. And rural residents receive fewer regular medical check-ups and routine diagnostic tests than they medically and statistically should. Cost-sharing will allow many rural Americans to obtain the tests and check-ups they should at lower cost, thus potentially enhancing their long-term health.
Center for Rural Affairs