Fruit Crop Insurance Workshops includes Affordable Care Act information

Explanation of new tart cherry insurance policies will follow overview of new healthcare laws.

Michigan State University Extension is hosting workshops focused on tart cherry crop insurance and the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) in October. Speakers will include MSU Extension educators and faculty and crop insurance experts from private industry. There will be a meeting charge of $10 for handouts and other materials. All the meetings will be from 6 to 9 p.m. with light refreshments. The dates and locations are:

In 2014, tart cherry growers in Berrien, Van Buren, Allegan, Kent, Newaygo, Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, Manistee, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim and Charlevoix counties can buy federal crop insurance as protection against losses. The deadline for fruit crop insurance policies is Nov. 20, 2013. The details of this new policy will be explained so fruit growers can decide to participate before the sign-up deadline.

Many Michigan fruit crops already have crop insurance options, but this is the first year for tart cherry coverage. This coverage is an actual revenue policy and protects against losses from low yields, low prices, low quality or multiple combinations of loss. Sweet cherry growers in northern Michigan have had similar coverage available for several years. This extension of crop insurance to tart cherry coverage was accelerated as a result of the devastating freezes in 2012 that destroyed about 90 percent of Michigan’s cherry crop. The Ottawa County meeting will not include tart cherries, but will focus on blueberries and AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) crop insurance policies.

These meetings will also include an overview of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) which will cover every business and individual in the United States. See “MSU Extension to offer Affordable Care Act and Fruit Crop Insurance update workshops” for more information. To provide small business and commercial fruit producers information about this new law, MSU farm management educator Adam Kantrovich will give a broad overview of the ACA. The ACA will be discussed first so those businesses not affected by crop insurance policies can leave. Find out if there are provisions of the ACA that might be beneficial to your business and what mandates affect you.

For more information and meeting registration, see Affordable Care Act and Fruit Crop Insurance Update Workshops to register for the workshops in Traverse City and Berrien and Ottawa counties. To register for the Oceana/Mason meeting, please RSVP to 231-873-2129 or 231-898-4789. If you need help registering for the other locations, contact Mary Frein or Judy Hanson at 616-994-4580.

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