Rural Michigan faces many barriers to health care

MGN Graphics

Problems with the rollout of the new federal health law are widespread and well known, but residents of Michigan's rural counties have additional barriers to getting insurance.

Rural counties have some of the highest rates of uninsured residents, and those are coupled with concerns about doctor shortages and lack of transportation for many.

Americans had until Dec. 23 to sign up for coverage that starts Jan. 1, and many are expected to wait until the last minute. They have until March 31 to find coverage and avoid a penalty for being uninsured next year.

Public health officials in the Upper Peninsula's Mackinac County and Sanilac County in the Lower Peninsula's Thumb region say enrollment has been slow and outreach challenging across their large land masses.