Rural Health

All Americans – no matter where they live – deserve affordable coverage and access to high-quality care. Health insurance providers are working hard to serve rural America.

From the mountains of West Virginia to the rolling hills of the Dakotas to the forests of Arkansas and beyond, nearly 60 million Americans live in rural America. They work hard to put food on the table and take care of their families. And they do it all while facing greater health challenges than those living in urban and suburban areas.

Rural hospitals are closing, leaving fewer doctors and fewer health care services available. Hospitals serve as safety nets for rural communities, but 20% of them are at risk of closing because of the high cost of delivering care in rural areas. That means millions of people – like kids with behavioral and developmental issues and people with complex health conditions – face higher barriers to care than those in urban areas.

  • Expanding and improving telehealth services. More and more rural families are using telehealth services for primary care, substance use disorder treatment, and behavioral health care. Health insurance providers also often work with telehealth companies to provide remote patient monitoring for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

  • Incentivizing doctors, nurses, and other clinicians to practice in rural areas. To help expand access to high-quality care, health insurance providers help connect rural doctors and nurses with specialists at larger facilities for consultations. These relationships give patients access to tools, technology and treatments that may not have been available otherwise. Some even offer scholarships for medical students who commit to practice high demand care specialties in rural areas.

Check out these helpful one-pagers on related health care issues.

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