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How Supplemental Health Insurance Can Be a Vital Safety Net for Rural Business Owners

How Supplemental Health Insurance Can Be a Vital Safety Net for Rural Business Owners

Let’s imagine for a moment a small business owner in rural Iowa. We’ll call him John. John owned the hardware store in town, which also served as the community social center. Locals came for nails and hammers, but they stuck around to talk about the weather, corn prices and the local baseball team. Then, one ordinary Tuesday, life threw a curveball—John was diagnosed with cancer.

John had chosen a high-deductible health plan to keep his monthly costs down. It seemed sensible, given how rarely he needed to see a doctor. But now, faced with this diagnosis, the financial ground beneath him felt like it was giving way. The nearest treatment center was a two-hour drive each direction, and the costs began to mount quickly—travel expenses, deductibles, treatments and time away from the store.

As he juggled his health and business, John found himself at a crossroads: Should he dip into his savings, earmarked for his daughter’s college fund, or consider a loan that could put his business at risk? These choices weighed heavily on him, as they do on many rural business owners who find themselves in similar situations.

Even though this is an illustration, this story is not unique in our rural communities. It’s a stark reminder of the challenges we face when our health and businesses collide.

Rural Healthcare Options: Farther and Fewer

One of the biggest hurdles for those of us living in rural communities is basic access to quality healthcare. Many small-town hospitals and clinics are struggling to stay open. The nearest hospital or specialist might be more than an hour away. For a business owner, time is money and health is wealth. When you have to close shop or leave your farm for half a day just for a doctor’s visit, it’s not just inconvenient, it can impact your livelihood.

For folks running businesses, farms and ranches, these challenges mean we often put off regular check-ups or ignore minor symptoms until they turn into bigger problems. It’s a risk that can have a ripple effect on our businesses, our employees and our families.

But this isn’t just about pointing out the gaps in rural healthcare—it’s about understanding our unique needs and finding ways to bridge them. It’s about looking at our situation and saying, “How can we make this work for us?”

How Supplemental Insurance Can Bridge the Rural Healthcare Gap

For many rural residents, a supplemental health insurance policy has been the key to enhancing healthcare options and peace of mind. A supplemental insurance policy acts as a safety net when our primary health insurance doesn’t cover all the bases. It’s there to catch the costs that our regular insurance might not touch. This could include medical expenses like:

  • Co-pays.
  • Deductibles
  • Experimental treatment.

Or non-medical expenses like:

  • Travel and lodging during treatment visits.
  • Special diets.
  • Keeping the lights on at your business when you need to take time off for your health.

Let’s go back to John for a moment. If John had a supplemental health insurance policy for cancer, it could provide a large lump-sum payment. This payment may have helped him cover his out-of-pocket travel costs or pay the ongoing bills in his business even while he couldn’t work.

What we can learn from John’s story is that it’s not all about the medical bills. It’s about having the freedom and resources to choose the best treatment options without worrying about the financial strain on our family or our business.

Supplemental Health Insurance as Risk Management

Up until now, we’ve discussed how supplemental health insurance can be beneficial for enhancing our treatment options and overcoming challenges like access to quality healthcare. It can also be a proactive form of risk management against specific issues facing rural residents and small business owners:

  • Increased chronic illness rates: Despite our idyllic settings, rural Americans face higher risks of chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer. Lifestyle factors, environmental exposures and limited emergency healthcare access contribute significantly to these issues.
  • Financial stress: A health crisis can significantly disrupt our finances, especially for small business owners. A Kaiser Family Health Foundation poll found that 1 in 4 adults with healthcare debt as a result of cancer have declared bankruptcy. Without supplemental insurance or another financial safety net, business owners could face difficult choices, potentially risking the future of their business.

Most small business owners are responsible for their own health insurance, and it’s common to seek solutions that strike a balance between quality coverage and cost management. But with the escalating costs of healthcare, your primary insurance might fall short when a major health issue arises. This is where supplemental health insurance can be more than just an option, but a crucial addition to your toolkit for safeguarding your family and securing your livelihood.

Platinum: Tailoring Supplemental Health Options for Rural Americans

For over two decades, Platinum Supplemental Insurance has specialized in coverage for rural Americans. Most people know that critical illnesses like cancer are common. However, most aren’t prepared financially. That’s why Platinum markets policies with large lump-sum benefits to help overcome the financial impact of serious health issues and protect individuals, families and small businesses.

Questions? Let Us Know How We Can Help

If you would like to discuss a new or existing insurance policy, or have questions about increasing your coverage, our friendly, knowledgeable customer service team is on standby to help.

Do you know someone who could benefit from our supplemental health insurance policies? Have them request a quote.