Farm Bureau aims to provide health benefits
In a recent national survey, 65 percent of farmers identified the cost of health insurance as the most significant threat to their farming operations.
According to Kansas Farm Bureau, in the past five years, net farm income has declined by nearly 50 percent, while insurance costs have increased by more than 200 percent.
Some Farm Bureau members purchase their own coverage or remain uninsured. Eight percent buy their own insurance, and eight percent are uninsured.
Some farmers have off-the-farm jobs that provide health insurance, and some are on Medicare, Medicaid or veterans’ insurance. On Feb. 20, the Kansas Senate approved, by a vote of 28-11, a bill that would allow KFB to establish an exclusive health benefit plan for its members.
Farmers and farm wives testified before the House Committee on Insurance last Wednesday in support of the bill.
The KFB plan aims to reduce the number of uninsured Kansans by offering coverage at attractive premiums.
Marion County Farm Bureau agent Coleen Koop said many of her clients have no way to purchase affordable health insurance. Their income is too high for subsidies, but the cost of private health insurance is too high.
“The legislation is moving in the right direction,” she said.
Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts said the push toward a Farm Bureau health benefit plan would benefit members who are buying their own insurance or are not insured.
Last modified March 13, 2019