FairShare CSA Coalition Awards Health Insurance Rebates for Healthy Eating

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CSA shares are a growing trend. In the first five years of this health insurance rebate program, the total number of member farm shares offered yearly increased by 450 percent, from 2,000 to 9,000 shares.

The nonprofit FairShare CSA Coalition has connected sustainable agriculture and the health care sector by pioneering community-supported agriculture (CSA) health insurance rebates. FairShare, as reported by Rodale, started its program in Wisconsin in 2005 with one local health plan and a small group of farms. Now, the growing program includes three health plans and about 50 farms. In the first five years of the program, health plans issued more than 20,000 rebates, with an estimated total value of more than $3 million. 

Here’s how it works: Insurance policyholders read about member farms, all of which are organic, on the FairShare’s website. They then contact a farmer directly to sign up and pay for the CSA share, as with any traditional CSA program. Next, they fill out their health plan’s CSA rebate form and mail or fax it to the health plan provider with proof of payment and a copy of their sign-up form. A few weeks later, the policyholder receives a reimbursement check for up to $100 for an individual, or up to $200 for a family. 

To learn more, go to Rodale Institute.