Eligibility Details of FBN Health Unveiled at Farmer2Farmer
Too few farmers have quality health insurance. Farmers Business Network aims to change that.
At the company’s Farmer2Farmer meeting in Omaha December 13, it unveiled its FBN Health program, a new healthcare network for farmers.
An estimated 10% of all farmers and their families – and more than 40% of all dairy farms – have no health insurance coverage. “We can do something about it,” says Charles Baron, cofounder of FBN. “And it’s important we do something about it. No one should have their farm suffer due to lack of health care,” Baron told more than 2,500 farmers in attendance at the fourth annual event.
The plan for FBN Health was put in place at the 2017 Farmer2Farmer conference, where members of Farmers Business Network reported that health insurance is a primary concern. It is a huge expense on the farm, and one that not many farmers have any control over. Farmers or their spouses repeatedly take jobs off the farm to qualify for a corporate health insurance policy.
Through a text message survey, the average farmer spends more than $25,000 per year for health insurance. “This is a major issue,” adds Lucas Strom, vice president of business development and head of insurance for the company.
In many cases, FBN expects that eligible FBN members will see significant premium savings over the individual marketplace. FBN has tailored health benefit plans to meet FBN members’ needs with a farmer-focused healthcare offering. FBN Health gives farmers the option of four different health plans that offer:
● Health coverage for the entire farm family– including farm employees: medical, dental, and vision
● Free 24-7 telephone access to a doctor – at $0 co-pay – so farmers don’t have to waste any time driving to town when there’s a medical question or need
● Extensive regional and national networks of providers based across the country
With rising costs of health coverage, farmers need affordable health benefits that give them the chance to continue to farm as a business rather than have to make the choice among skyrocketing healthcare costs as an independent business owner, risking the health and wellness of the farm family, their passion, and livelihood.
“We are strong believers that farmers deserve quality health insurance that is not at the expense of a farmers’ P&L. By teaming up with Lifestyle Health, we’re able to provide much lower rates for relatively healthy members of the farm family or farm employees,” Strom says.
FBN members in 11 states – Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota – can enroll at any time during the year, and members in Minnesota can enroll beginning April 1, 2019, with more states coming soon. FBN Health benefits will be made available to any FBN member group that has a minimum of two enrolled employees that has its own tax ID number (FEIN). Any full-time employee of the group will be eligible for coverage under the program including family members (active employees) and farm hands.
Growers must be FBN members to participate, although nonmembers can receive a quote.
For more information on FBN Health, visit FBNHealth.com or call 800/483-6214.