Many Hoosiers receive health insurance through their employers or by participating in group plans. Because the majority of local farmers, others in the agriculture industry and small-business owners are sole proprietors or operators with no employees, they need other health care options. A proposal for a new law that I support would allow Indiana Farm Bureau to provide health plans to its members.
With the high costs of health care and medical expenses, some farmers choose to go without benefits or decide to leave the industry because health care is becoming less and less affordable. Hoosiers and Indiana's economy heavily relies on farmers and agriculture. These farming families work in a physically challenging profession, so access to quality health care is important.
Creating a new health care option through the Indiana Farm Bureau is a viable solution, and one offered in other states, including Tennessee and Iowa. If signed into law, this option could be available by the end of the year. Those who do not have access to group insurance plans, have fewer than two employees or do not qualify for significant Affordable Care Act subsidies could benefit.
Indiana Farm Bureau says the plan will not meet all Affordable Care Act requirements, so leaders at the bureau are not calling their plan "insurance," but it will function like other traditional health insurance plans. This will be a robust plan that will help families with essential health benefits, such as office visits, prescription drug benefits, preventative services, and maternity and newborn care. INFB members will notice more affordable options than they are currently experiencing because ACA premiums are not subsidized. Once a member is accepted and paying for premiums their coverage will not be denied.
If the governor signs the bill, health benefits could improve for many of the more than 250,000 INFB members. Farmers and small-business owners who want to learn more about this legislation and what the Indiana Farm Bureau has to offer should visit infarmbureau.org.
State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73, which includes
Washington County, and portions of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties.
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