How Would Health Insurance Exchanges Work in Rural America?

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2010
Project completed:
January 2012
The nature of insurance markets may differ between densely populated urban/metropolitan areas and sparsely populated rural areas. Research has shown that rural markets are more likely to be dominated by individual and small group plans. In providing access for individuals and small groups to health plans through a single portal, the policy objective is to establish markets that will attract multiple insurers. As exchanges develop, particular rural concerns may develop. In particular, concerns could develop over the number and type of insurance plan options available to rural residents, the inclusion of local providers in plan networks, accessing information about health plan options available in rural communities, and the availability of resources through the exchanges. This project will examine some of these concerns.

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