Manhattan, Kansas – Today Kansas Farm Bureau provided testimony in the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee to seek authority for the state’s largest farm organization to develop member health care benefit coverage.
“Health coverage costs for farmers and ranchers in Kansas is the most significant expense in their budgets,” says Terry Holdren, CEO/General Counsel of Kansas Farm Bureau. “At times this represents 30 to 40 percent of annual budgeted expenses. Most do not qualify for federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidized products and many seek employment off the farm solely for the health care benefit. A recent study shows 65% of agriculture producers view health care as the number one threat to the future of their operation.”
SB 32 will allow Kansas Farm Bureau to establish health care benefit that offers coverage specifically and solely for Farm Bureau members in Kansas. Preliminary studies show cost savings of greater than 30 percent for Kansans compared to health care options currently available to many farm and ranch families.
If approved, the program will aim to reduce the number of uninsured Kansans by offering coverage at attractive premiums, and will create competition and free-market options for health coverage while supporting rural hospitals and providers.