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Affordable Care Act Important To Rural Residents

A new report by the Center for Rural Affairs finds that rural residents stand to benefit from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, more than their city-dwelling counterparts.

The author of the report, Jon Bailey, says the premium tax credits to help pay for individual health insurance plans, and the caps on out-of-pocket costs will be especially important to people who live in rural areas.

“More rural Americans are without health insurance," he says. "Rural Americans, on average, have lower incomes, so it’s likely that more of them will qualify for the premium assistance tax credits. Rural Americans pay more in out-of-pocket costs for their healthcare.”

They'll pay almost 22 percent more, according to the report.

And Bailey says people in rural areas have higher rates of almost every chronic disease and condition than urban people have. Bailey says it’s important to remember the only people who will buy insurance on the new exchange are those who don’t receive coverage through their employers, Medicare, or Veterans Administration. They’ll have three months, starting October 1, to review their options. The coverage requirement doesn’t begin until January 1.