Low uptake of health insurance for farmers

Health insurance plans for farmers are available through nearly all provincial farm organizations. But a report by the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) shows farmers’ uptake to be very low, ranging from five per cent of members, to less than one per cent.

 

It is a common view that farmers do not have adequate health insurance to manage their health needs given the physical and mental risks that come with farming. The cost of farmers’ injuries and illness can be mitigated if farmers had more preventative, appropriate, and cost-effective health and disability coverage.

 

“The report was commissioned in order to gain a better understanding of what insurance farmers can access and identify any gaps in that insurance,” says Marcel Hacault, CASA’s executive director. “We were surprised to find that insurance plans are readily available to farmers through farm groups and other means.”

 

The report recommends comparing farmer health insurance uptake to that of other small businesses. Expense, complexity and employee retention are all factors that small businesses, including farms, contend with in making decisions on purchasing health insurance.

 

Other highlights of the report include:

 

  *   Mental health insurance coverage is a significant unmet need

  *   Disability insurance is needed, but is undervalued by farmers

  • Disability plans and workers’ compensation plans may have limitations for farmers

 

The executive summary is available at casa-acsa.ca at this link: https://bit.ly/2Hjbn4d

The full report is available upon request.

 

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and safety of farmers, their families and agricultural workers. CASA is funded in part through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal, provincial and territorial initiative and receives additional support from the agricultural and corporate sectors.

 

Source: Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, March 13, 2019 news release

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Publish date: 
Friday, March 15, 2019

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