Medicaid benefiting rural areas

(WEAU) – Data shows 16-percent of rural residents nationwide were covered by Medicaid in the past year.

People often have a hard time admitting they are on Medicaid.

But, Jon Bailey of The Center for Rural Affairs says using this health coverage is proving to benefit people and doctors.

“If Medicare and Medicaid weren't there or if they didn't pay what they did now, a lot of those doctors, hospitals, clinics wouldn't be able to stay in business in those rural areas,” said Jon Bailey of the Center of Rural Affairs in a phone interview.

Sue O'Branovich an Options Counselor at the Aging and Disability Resource Center says a lot of people ask her about using Medicaid.

"We also have a lot of people who are on Medicaid and even need help with their benefits or need help knowing what kind of programs are available for them,” said Sue O'Branovich of the Aging and Disability Resource Center.

While some Medicaid programs have a 2,000 dollar asset limit, others allow you to have more.

Therefore, coverage is based on your situation.

“I think as times get harder people, their more prone to look for what kind of choices are available for them,” said Sue.

Jon says that about 65 percent of families with non senior Medicaid enrollees have at least one worker in the family.

“I think it's just a function of the rural economy, most rural areas, wages are lower. So even though people are working their income is going to be lower than urban areas,” said Jon.

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