The Center for Rural Affairs is out with a new report on the Rural Implications of Health Insurance Coverage in Nebraska.
Jon Bailey is the Director of Rural Research and Analysis Program at the Center for Rural Affairs.
He says the report shows that significantly more people in rural Nebraska are without health insurance compared to small town, small city, and metropolitan areas.
The policy report also offers recommendations for state-level action to lower that rate, particularly in rural communities.
Bailey says one recommendation is to expand the Medicaid program as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
He says if the legislature does that, the CFRA estimates the uninsured rate in rural Nebraska would be cut in half.
"There are a lot of people in rural communities that are eligible that are kind of in that middle, low-income group that right now are not poor enough for traditional Medicaid but they don’t make enough money to purchase insurance on their own. And they generally work for employers that do not provide health insurance.”
According to the report, counties with high rates of uninsured people, 21% uninsured or greater, exist only in rural Nebraska.