Title

Certified Safe Farm: Using Health Insurance Incentives to Promote Agricultural Safety and Health

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Journal of Agromedicine

ISSN

1059-924X

Volume

8

Issue

1

DOI

10.1300/J096v08n01_04

First Page

27

Last Page

38

Publication Date

1-1-2001

Abstract

Data is presented on the health insurance coverage of approximately 260 farmers in Northwest Iowa. A combination of telephone interview and self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on health insurance premiums, coinsurance rates, and deductibles. Data was also collected on the injury and illness experiences of the subjects. Thirty-nine percent (100) of primary farm operators and 63.5% (154) of spouses worked off the farm. Of those who worked off-farm, 30 primary operators (30%) had coverage through their off-farm employer, and 41 spouses (27%) received health insurance through their off-farm employer. In addition to a general description of demographics and insurance coverage, the following research questions were investigated:
1. Are farmers with high cost coverage less likely to seek health care when they have illnesses and injuries than are farmers who have low cost insurance coverage?
2. Do farmers with off farm employer coverage have lower insurance costs than farmers who have individual coverage?
No conclusive evidence supported a relationship between the cost of coverage and the number of health care visits. However, persons with off-farm employer sponsored coverage had significantly lower premiums than those without off-farm coverage. Additionally, those with family coverage from an off-farm employer had significantly lower deductibles. Implications for use of health insurance premium reductions as an incentive for safe farms are also discussed.