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High Healthcare Costs Hurting California Farmers

A new survey reveals one in five California farmers is struggling financially because of the high cost of health insurance. A large percentage of farmers and ranchers say they have to buy insurance on

High Healthcare Costs Hurting California Farmers

A new survey reveals one in five California farmers is struggling financially because of the high cost of health insurance. A large percentage of farmers and ranchers say they have to buy insurance on the individual market. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

The survey of more than 17-hundred farmers and ranchers comes from the non-profit Access Project.

The report shows those who bought policies on the individual market spent nearly twice the amount of those who got insurance through other employers.

Access Project policy director Carol Pryor says farmers are a vital part of California's rural economy.

Carol Pryor: And if they're hurting, if they have to redirect a lot of money toward healthcare, they're not investing in their farms, they're forced to take out loans and go into debt, and so it really has broader repercussions.

Pryor says farmers who are struggling say they're spending more than one third of their income on insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.