STUDY: Health Insurance Costs Threaten Farm Viability
University of Vermont: According to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded study, lack of access to affordable health insurance is one of the most significant concerns facing American farmers, an overlooked risk factor that affects their ability to run a successful enterprise.

“The rising cost of healthcare and the availability of affordable health insurance have joined more traditional risk factors like access to capital, credit and land as a major source of worry for farmers,” said principal investigator Shoshanah Inwood, a rural sociologist at the University of Vermont, who conducted the study with colleagues at the Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis at NORC at the University of Chicago.

“The study found that health-related costs are a cross-sector risk for agriculture, tied to farm risk management, productivity, health, retirement, the need for off-farm income and land access for young and beginning farmers,” said Alana Knudson, co-director of the NORC Walsh Center.

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