|By Ben Benton, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
A national study covering the last three years ranks
After last October's troubled launch of HealthCare.gov, the portal for national health-insurance exchanges, the push to cover more Americans resumes
But are rural people heeding the call?
"There are certainly more people who have insurance," Rae said. Still, he noted that many low-wage workers fell into a gap in the system created when
The cheapest health plans on the ACA's national health-care exchanges come with high deductibles, Rae said, so "(people) might have insurance, but since they're paying such a large part of their costs, it hasn't encouraged them to come in any more regularly." And some of those cheaper plans aren't being accepted by some health-care providers in
The report, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps: Building a Culture of Health, County by County, by the
Area counties such as
While the report looks at long-term trends in communities, the Affordable Care Act is intended to improve community health across the nation and its impact so far is impossible to measure, according to officials.
Rae said health care for rural people is still a financial hurdle because of limited access to physician networks, costly insurance premiums and high deductibles.
King said it will take time before health-care industry officials can judge the long-term impact of the Affordable Care Act.
Rural people face special barriers to quality health care, which has federal officials concerned, says
Distance to doctors and lack of Internet access played a role, but some experts say the most significant problem comes from states' decisions about whether or not to expand
Targeting outreach in rural areas remains difficult because enrollment data hasn't been released by the
"It's critically important we have this data well in advance of the next open enrollment," Whorley said.
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