Health care changes could hit rural Tennesseans hardest


July 6, 2017 — People who live outside Tennessee’s urban centers could feel the impact of health care reform more acutely than city dwellers.

About 1.5 million Tennesseans, or 22 percent of the state, live in a rural area, according to federal data. And since there are higher rates of chronic disease and the population tends to be older, people in rural areas could see higher out-of-pocket costs than other parts of the state if proposals change what insurers can charge based on age or pre-existing diseases, according to the Sycamore Institute, a Tennessee-focused nonpartisan think tank.

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