“One of the Biggest Financial Challenges” on the Farm: Why This Family Switched to FBN® Health
Over the past few years, one of the biggest financial issues farmers have had to contend with is affordable healthcare. Rachael Vonderhaar can tell you from personal experience.
Rachael is part of a multi-generational farming operation in Southwest Ohio, an hour north of Cincinnati and just off the Indiana state line.
The Vonderhaar family looks like a lot of other Midwestern farmers: They grow corn, beans and wheat and run a cow-calf operation. She farms with her husband, Alan; her son, Adam; and her father-in-law, Leonard, who still helps out with planting and harvest.
“Just before the 2016 election, we got a notice that we were losing our healthcare plan,” Rachael says. “All the private insurers were pulling out of our county, and our broker was very kind about it, but he told us there was nothing available to us.”
On December 31, 2016, a plan for which they qualified showed up on the exchange — but “qualifying” still meant paying full price.
After a year on this plan, one insurer returned to their county, offering more services for the price, but still, charging more than $2,000 a month for a high deductible plan.
“It was mind-blowing to us,” Rachael says.
In 2019, while attending the Commodity Classic, Rachael heard about what Farmers Business Network® had to offer. All the services offered as a part of the FBN® membership were intriguing, but the opportunities for a better health plan sealed the deal.
“Healthcare had become one of the biggest financial challenges we have had to figure out,” says Rachael. “Once the Affordable Care Act went through, our monthly amounts just kept increasing, creating a real issue for us.”
In Spring 2020, the Vonderhaars received notice that their premium was increasing to $2,400 a month. It made the decision to switch to FBN Health easy.
Today, the Vonderhaars estimate they are saving $1,000 per month through FBN Health. Their plan still has a higher deductible, but the upfront savings leave them with more money in their pockets for when they do have to make big decisions.
For their family farm, it gives them some breathing room when it comes to buying inputs, and it made the decision much easier when their son Adam graduated college and wanted to come back to the farm.
And, equally as important, it’s been very easy to use.
One of the most significant perks is that they can now use an out-of-state doctor and still be in-network — a big deal when the best hospital for your family is just across the nearby state line. This is something that previous plans hadn’t allowed for.
“FBN Health alone was enough to make us want to become FBN members,” Rachael says. “It has completely changed how we feel about health coverage.”
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