A survey finds many Midwestern farmers are at risk of falling into deep debt over medical expenses.
Jon Bailey, director of research and analysis at the Center for Rural Affairs, says many farmers are self-insured with high premiums, which means their out-of-pocket costs are huge. “So it doesn’t take something major or catastrophic to incur a good chunk of debt to you and your family,” he says.
Bailey says the average farmer in the region spends about 12-thousand dollars a year for health insurance coverage. “They don’t have employer-provided insurance,” he says. “They are self-employed. They don’t have a spouse that has employer-provided insurance.”
Due to the fact all insurance costs for this group are out-of-pocket, Bailey says deductibles are usually high so the premiums can be more affordable. He says, “These families incur a lot more out-of-pocket costs than the normal family would and that leads to the medical debt.”
A recent survey shows many farmers are taking out loans or using savings to pay for medical care, money that’s not being put back into their businesses.
The Center for Rural Affairs is based just west of Onawa, Iowa, in Lyons, Nebraska. For more information, visit: www.cfra.org.
Thanks to Karla James