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What the Health Care Law Means for Rural Americans

En español l The health care law provides several benefits to all Americans. Many of the benefits and protections in the health care law are particularly important for those living in rural areas. By understanding what’s in the law, you can make better health care choices for you and your family.

Creates a new way to shop for health insurance

  • If you don’t have insurance, you can find a plan that works for you and your family in the Health Insurance Marketplace in your state.
  • Help is available every step of the way. You can get your questions answered about finding a plan or completing the application in person, by phone or online.

Lowers costs

  • Depending on your income, you may be able to get financial help to pay your premiums for health insurance you purchase through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • Diabetes and cholesterol screenings, mammograms and  flu shots are all covered.
  • If you have Medicare Part D, and you reach the coverage gap or “doughnut hole,” you will get more than a 55 percent discount on brand name prescription drugs and more than a 35 percent discount on generic drugs while you are in the coverage gap. How much you’ll pay out of pocket for each drug may depend on your Part D plan. The discounts will continue to grow until 2020, when the gap will be a thing of the past.

Provides tax credits for small businesses

  • If you are a small business owner, you may be able to get tax credits to offset part of the cost of offering health insurance to your employees.

Eliminates discriminatory insurance practices

  • Health insurance companies can no longer deny you coverage, because you have a preexisting condition such as diabetes, high-blood pressure or cancer. They can’t cut off your coverage or cancel your plan just because you get sick or injured.
  • In the past, health plans could place dollar limits on the care they would cover in a year or over your lifetime. Now, there are no more dollar limits on your covered care.

Increases access to health care in rural areas

  • Invests in primary care professionals so more Americans have access to primary care.
  • Provides more resources to medical and nursing schools to train doctors and nurses to work in rural and underserved areas.
  • Expands community health programs to help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Provides Medicare funds to hospitals and other providers in rural communities so they can offer quality care and keep their doors open.
  • Expands community-based health care centers in rural areas, as well as grants for school-based health centers in underserved areas.

It’s time to learn more about the health care law. Go to

Updated August 2014

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