Jon Bailey, research director at the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs, "says the new federal insurance marketplace was practically created for people in rural areas," Agri-Pulse reports. Bailey told the newsletter, "Rural people will have more choices, and the marketplace might be more competitive. The affordability of insurance will determine the success of the primary goals of the Affordable Care Act – enrollment in health insurance exchanges to increase insurance coverage and reduce the nation’s uninsured."
The Nebraska Farm Bureau, which says most farmers and ranchers purchase insurance on the open market, is conducting a survey that so far indicates premium rates will increase for its members, Agri-Pulse reports. Jordan Dux, who directs national affairs for the bureau, told the newsletter, "We’ve never had this amount and this significant amount of comments on an issue ever before. The majority of those are seeing increases, some are significant increases."
How much Obamacare has to do with those increases is unclear, and it's not beyond insurance companies to give it all the blame. "With as massive as a piece of legislation as this is, I think there’s confusion nationwide," Dux said. "There are so many different pieces to this I don’t think there’s a clear understanding from the folks in Washington or the health insurance companies.”
Enrollment will continue until March 31, but to have insurance that starts Jan. 1, enrollment must be completed by Dec. 15. Agri-Pulse is subscription-only, but is available for a free trial by clicking here.