Farm Bureau Continues Health Plan Push

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation is advocating for a bill that would allow the organization to provide members with a health plan option. And it was the big ticket item at Ag Day at the Capitol this week.

The legislation aims to reach growers with unique and affordable health insurance that they wouldn’t already be eligible for. Seven other state Farm Bureaus currently operate in this model.

The bill asks the state Legislature to exempt Farm Bureau from state insurance regulation to allow the health plan model. This model is offered only by state Farm Bureaus. Some of these states include Tennessee and Iowa, says WFBF Executive Director of Governmental Relations Jason Mugnaini.

Mugnaini says Farm Bureau members in those states have seen premiums up to 60 percent lower than comparable subsidized plans. He tells Mid-West Farm Report more of the details of the proposal, including feedback from the Senate and Assembly insurance committees:

Rachel Harmann has testified in support of Farm Bureau health plan. She and her family own Lakeshore Land and Livestock in Door County. She says if passed, this unique coverage would provide relief for families that have to choose between growing the farm business or staying home with children, and taking an off-farm job for the health insurance.

According to the organization, about 50,000 people whose income normally makes them ineligible for federal incentives are uninsured in Wisconsin. The concept Farm Bureau is proposing could help to reduce the number of uninsured Wisconsinites. Mugnaini expects up to 10,000 people to enroll in the Farm Bureau health plan if passed.