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Indiana Farm Bureau Health Plans cover nearly 5,000 Hoosiers during first year

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(Courtesy of the Indiana Farm Bureau)
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Nearly 5,000 people are now covered through Indiana Farm Bureau Health Plans a little over a year after coverage started. 

Indiana Farm Bureau Health Plans manager Patrick Williams said he’s seen an increase in Farm Bureau membership as people seek to enroll in the health plans.

“About 34 percent of those who are applying are brand new members,” said Williams. “So clearly, looking for health care coverage – something that's a little bit more affordable.”

The organization has found high interest in counties neighboring major cities in other states.

Other than the Indiana metro areas, the plans show higher enrollments in Indiana counties bordering Chicago, Louisville and Cincinnati. 

Many health insurance plans limit people to specific geographic areas for medical care.

But Williams said its health plans have greater value due to a provider with a nationwide network that covers 95 percent of doctors and hospitals in the country.

“It allows our members to be able to cross state lines and actually seek medical attention, all the while staying in network. Because if you go out of network, it can really spell financial ruin,” he said.

Williams said the plans also help people see specialists directly rather than having to get a referral.

Of those that apply, Williams said 85 percent are being approved. And just because someone has a pre-existing condition he said does not necessarily mean they will be denied.

“The older we get, the more likely that's going to happen,” said Williams. “And so we have a couple of plans that will actually have like a six month waiting period, for pre-existing conditions. And we have others that can have a little bit longer waiting period of 12 months. But we do offer the ability to potentially exclude certain pre-existing conditions to still bring them on.”

The Indiana Farm Bureau estimates Hoosiers signing up for individual health plans with the organization are saving on average 30 to 50 percent compared to what they would pay on the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

In 2020, the Indiana Farm Bureau urged state lawmakers to pass legislation that would allow the organization to offer health plans as an alternative and more affordable option to the marketplace.

Contact reporter Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.

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