Can I Get Health Insurance If I Live Somewhere Remote?

The recent news of rural Pennsylvania losing another EMS service and the potential closure of half of Mississippi’s rural hospitals highlights a growing concern in the United States: the lack of access to healthcare in rural areas. This issue is particularly pressing when it comes to health insurance, as many rural residents struggle to find affordable and comprehensive coverage.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to address this issue by expanding access to health insurance for all Americans, including those living in rural areas. The ACA created several programs to help make health insurance more affordable and accessible, including subsidies for low-income individuals and families, and Medicaid expansion.

Medicaid Expansion

One of the most significant ways the ACA has improved access to health insurance for rural residents is through Medicaid expansion. Medicaid is a government health insurance program for low-income individuals and families. Prior to the ACA, Medicaid eligibility was based on income and family size, and many rural residents did not qualify for coverage. However, the ACA expanded Medicaid eligibility to all adults with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level. This has resulted in millions of rural Americans gaining access to health insurance for the first time.

Subsidies for Low-Income Individuals and Families

The ACA also provides subsidies to help low-income individuals and families afford health insurance. These subsidies are available through the Health Insurance Marketplace, which is a government-run website where you can compare and purchase health insurance plans. The subsidies are based on your income and family size, and they can significantly reduce the cost of health insurance.

Rural Health Clinics

In addition to expanding access to health insurance, the ACA also provides funding for rural health clinics. These clinics provide a wide range of healthcare services to rural residents, including primary care, preventive care, and chronic disease management. Rural health clinics are often the only source of healthcare for many rural residents, and they play a vital role in ensuring that these residents have access to the care they need.


The ACA has made significant strides in improving access to health insurance for rural residents. However, there is still more work to be done. The Trump administration has taken steps to undermine the ACA, and Congress has failed to pass legislation to expand Medicaid in the remaining states that have not yet done so. As a result, millions of rural Americans are still struggling to find affordable and comprehensive health insurance.

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