According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 8 percent of Hoosiers went without health insurance in 2018. Many people get health insurance through their employer or a group plan. Farmers, are often small-business owners without employees and generally have expensive and limited health care options. This session, I supported legislation allowing the Indiana Farm Bureau to provide health benefits to its members and their families.
Farmers play a key role in Indiana's economic development and quality of life, with the agriculture industry contributing an estimated $31.2 billion to the state economy. The high cost of health care is driving some farmers to continue working without benefits or to leave the industry in search of other opportunities with coverage. Access to quality affordable health care is critical in a physically demanding job like farming.
Through this legislation, Indiana Farm Bureau members could see more affordable options available than they currently have. Those with no access to group insurance plans, have less than two employees or do not qualify for Affordable Care Act subsidies could qualify for benefits.
The plan is not classified as traditional health insurance but would be similar. This plan would help cover maternity and newborn care, preventative services, prescriptions and office visits. If signed into law, these health benefits would be available to Indiana Farm Bureau members by the end of the year. More than 250,000 people could benefit from this program. Working in the agriculture industry for many years, I know how physically demanding the job can be and how crucial it is to have health care benefits for your family.
Visit iga.in.gov or IndianaFarmBureau.org to learn more. Although the legislative session is over, it is important to stay connected on issues affecting our state and community. For questions or input, please call 317-232-9651 or email H53@iga.in.gov.
State Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) represents House District 53,
which includes portions of Hancock and Madison counties.
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