Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Announcements

July 15, 2021

HHS Boosts Funding for COVID-19 Response in Rural Areas.  The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced $398 Million for COVID-19 testing and mitigation.  The funds will be distributed by State Offices of Rural Health to 1,540 rural hospitals through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program.

One Month Left to Enroll in, or Change, Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage.  HHS released a report on current trends and challenges to accessing affordable health care in rural America.  Analysts found that, although uninsured rates have fallen in rural areas, other barriers to care such as geographic distances, infrastructure limitations, and provider shortages contribute to rural health disparities.  The report comes one month before the special enrollment period for qualified individuals and families ends on August 15.  As noted in the HHS brief, 65 percent of the 1.9 million rural uninsured individuals in HealthCare.gov states may be able to find a zero-premium plan on the platform.

NOSORH Accepting 2021 Community Star Nominations.  The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) seeks nominations until August 2 of individuals, organizations, or consortia making a big difference in the health of rural communities.