A new report from the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies highlights disparities in rural health and rural health care. Left Behind: Health Care in Rural America is the insurance company's seventh annual study of the topic; it uses answers from its annual consumer survey of people 18 through 64 in August 2019.

Among the study's key findings:
  • Fewer rural respondents in the poll reported being in good health than their urban or suburban counterparts. Almost seven in 10 rural residents (69 percent) described their health as good or excellent, compared to 80% of urban residents and 78% of suburban residents.
  • Rural people were more likely to report poor health, with 69% saying they had at least one underlying condition, compared to 66% of urban respondents and 64% of suburbanites. 
  • Rural respondents were more likely to report having a mental health condition (31%) compared to 29% of urban respondents and 24% of suburban respondents.
  • Rural respondents, at 38%, were far less likely to receive health insurance through an employer, compared to 53% of urban respondents and 59% of respondents. The report notes that 19% of rural residents said they have no health insurance. 
  • Rural (12%) and urban (13%) respondents were about twice as likely as suburban residents (6%) to receive health care through Medicaid or another state-funded program.
  • Rural respondents were less likely to report being able to afford health-care costs; 75% said they could afford routine health expenses, compared to 82% of urban respondents and 85% of suburban respondents.