Health Coverage for Farmers: What Are Your Options?

FBN Network

Aug 07, 2023

Finding affordable health coverage can be challenging when you’re a farmer.

If you’re under age 65, you’ve historically had to either secure coverage through an employer (if you or your spouse work off the farm and can obtain employer-sponsored insurance), purchase private insurance or, more recently, pay for coverage through the federal government’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

We launched FBN® Health in response to this challenge, offering affordable coverage options and bringing a Farmers First® approach to farmer healthcare needs.

What Are the Health Coverage Options for Farmers?

Let’s take a closer look at the five primary options you have for health coverage: 

1. Association Health Plans

It’s possible to obtain a group insurance plan through membership in your local farm bureau or association. With association health plans, you cannot be denied coverage or pay a higher premium based on your health status or pre-existing conditions. Your premiums will be affected, however, by the overall health needs of other insured members in your association’s group plan.

2. Employer-based Insurance

If you or your spouse work off the farm, you might be able to sign up for individual/family insurance through the employer’s group plan. Your premiums will depend on the amount the employer contributes, but these employer-sponsored plans can be a great source of savings for your household.

3. FBN Health

FBN offers four affordably-priced plans through FBN Health that deliver excellent coverage with a nationwide provider network and virtual care options to meet your family’s healthcare needs.

In order to qualify for our level-funded group plan, you simply need:

  • One full-time employee (can be the farm owner)

  • A Federal Employer Identification Number (different from your social security number, an FEIN is for your farm operation)

FBN Health policies are individually underwritten, meaning your premiums are based on your health and the health of other members in your operation alone. All of our plans include $0 copays on telemedicine visits and the option to add enhanced ambulance coverage. 

FBN Health also offers open enrollment year-round, giving you increased flexibility to make sure your family, your farm employees, and your own health are protected at any time.

Note: You don’t need to be a member of the FBN network to apply and obtain a quote, but in order to secure coverage you will need to join the network. FBN membership is free.

4. Health Insurance Marketplace (

If you’re not eligible for employer-based insurance, you can sign up for individual/family coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace by provision of the Affordable Care Act.

These on-exchange plans generally cost more, although you may qualify for a tax credit to reduce your monthly premium. Your insurance carrier and plan options will vary based on which state you live in.

5. Private Insurance

In the past, many farmers found themselves with few options other than to purchase off-exchange coverage directly from a private insurance carrier (or through a broker). Without tax credits or employer contributions, this option can be costly for farmers either in terms of monthly premiums, high deductible levels, or both.

[READ NEXT: 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Health Plan]

Understand Your Costs Before You Sign Up

You'll want to read a plan’s summary of benefits to understand all the out-of-pocket costs you can expect when obtaining care.

Here’s a quick breakdown of costs associated with most plans:

  • Premium: A plan’s monthly premium is the amount you will pay to maintain coverage for yourself and any other dependents on your plan.

  • Deductible: Your deductible is the amount you’ll pay for care before your carrier pays a larger portion of your bills. Office visit and prescription copayments are not generally applied to your deductible.

  • Copayments: Your copayment (or copay) refers to the amount you will owe for an office visit or prescription refill. These costs are usually tiered (in-network vs. out-of-network, appointment/urgent care/emergency room, branded vs. generic Rx, etc.).

  • Coinsurance: Coinsurance is the percentage of responsibility you will have once your deductible has been met. For example, an 80/20 coinsurance level means you will be responsible for 20% (your carrier pays the remaining 80%) of the amount billed after reaching your plan’s deductible limit.

  • Out-of-Pocket Maximum: Your out-of-pocket maximum refers to the most you will have to pay for health care costs during the plan year before your carrier will pay 100% of all future costs.

Be sure to consider expected healthcare needs alongside possible emergencies, surgeries and other unpredictable medical concerns or complications when exploring your coverage options. By factoring these costs into your budget, you’ll be better equipped to manage expenses when healthcare needs arise.

Health Coverage for Farmers with FBN Health

Compare plans, get a free quote and see how much money you could potentially save by signing up for coverage through FBN Health by clicking here or calling 877-892-3303 to speak with one of our agents.

Our team is staffed by licensed health insurance experts to help you make the right coverage decisions for your family and operation. We will walk you through the application and enrollment process and be there to answer any claims questions throughout the year.

© 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network” and “FBN” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.

FBN does not offer traditional health insurance. But while we do not offer traditional health insurance, we do offer FBN Health. FBN Health is marketed by FBN Insurance LLC. FBN Insurance LLC is not a licensed insurance company or agency and its employees and representatives are not licensed life and health insurance agents. Policies marketed by FBN Health are level-funded group health benefit plans offered and administered by Benefit Plan Administrators, Inc. (“BPA”) and Employers Business Alliance ("EBA") and available only where BPA and EBA are licensed." If you submit the Get A Quote Form, a licensed insurance agent/producer may contact you on behalf of BPA or EBA. You cannot obtain coverage under a health plan until you complete and submit an application for the plan and your application is approved and accepted by BPA or EBA. Eligibility and benefit exclusions and limitations apply.

FBN Health is currently available in all 50 states.

FBN Network

Aug 07, 2023

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