Harvest Public Media is seeking the experiences of farmers who buy their own health insurance. Our partners at the Center for Rural Affairs created a report (PDF link) for Practical Farmers of Iowa about the healthcare experience of Iowa farmers and we’re curious to see how results look for farmers nationally. That report said that 43% of Iowa farmers and ranchers buy health insurance on the individual market, compared with just 7% of Iowa adults at large.
As anyone who has looked into buying those individual plans knows, they’re usually a lot more expensive than a group insurance plan that many people get through their jobs. A 2007 study found that farmers pay two times what non-farmers pay for insurance and out of pocket healthcare expenses. I'm sure that influenced the results of a 2009 study about the concerns of family farmers, that showed health insurance tied with land cost as their top concern.
If you’re a self-employed farmer, please consider visiting the survey to share your experiences. We look forward to hearing this story, as the difficult time some farmers have getting and keeping insurance is one that deserves more attention.