US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is encouraging rural Utahns to sign up for health insurance before the federal deadline on Monday. Secretary Vilsack says that Utahns who live in rural areas have a lot to gain from the federal Affordable Care Act.
“Under the old system of healthcare, rural folks from Utah were paying higher out of pocket expenses, they had higher levels of uninsured populations,” Vilsack says. “As a result, access to quality services were somewhat limited, and the outcomes for rural folks in Utah and across the country were not as good as they were folks who live in cities or suburbs.”
Vilsack says the Affordable Care Act is reducing the number of uninsured, which he says is going to provide greater financial stability for clinics and hospitals in rural areas.
“We are providing opportunities for families who have been struggling to be able to afford healthcare coverage at a cost that fits into their budget. In some cases, it could be as low as 100 dollars a month for a family with the tax credits and subsidies,” Vilsack says. “We want folks to make sure that they take advantage of this opportunity.”
Vilsack is encouraging Utahns to sign up at healthcare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596. The deadline is Monday, March 31st. After that, a fine may be imposed on those who do not have insurance.