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Letter to the editor: Rural healthcare access is in crisis


Examination room at the Iowa City Free Medical and Dental Clinic, Apr. 17, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

By Jan Beltz, Indianola

I’ve lived in small-town Iowa my entire life and have always loved the sense of community and pace of life it has provided. From less traffic and noise to knowing your neighbors and business owners, there is truly nothing that compares.

However, the challenges of living in a smaller community can also be magnified when it comes to access to healthcare. Often, specialists are located miles away, and costs of gas and time spent commuting can add up quickly.

Of course, programs such as Medicaid managed care bring a lot of opportunity to bring needed services to Iowans. Being an enrollee allows access to care through telehealth, and can even provide transportation services when needed.

I’ve always believed the benefits of living in a smaller community outweigh the difficulties it presents. But without Medicaid managed care, many could even be faced with the decision to leave their home, family and job in order to access care.

Medicaid managed care meets enrollees where they are and allows us to receive treatment, connect with providers, and stay healthy, while also allowing people like me to continue to live in the communities we love.


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