Farmers and ranchers who seek affordable health insurance can find solutions in the Affordable Care Act and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.

That's according to South Dakota Cooperative Extension Family Resource Management Specialist Liz Gorham, who said farmers and ranchers struggling to purchase a health care package to cover themselves and their families can find tax incentives in the law that can help.

"These new laws provide significant tax incentives to help offset health care costs, such as the one found in the Small Business Jobs Act, where the sole proprietor receives a deduction for health care costs on their 2010 tax returns," Gorham said. "A farmer or other self-employed person will be able to deduct their health insurance premiums as a business expense. As such, income and self-employment taxes are reduced for the 2010 tax year."

Gorham said the Center for Rural Affairs website explains the benefits that farmers and ranchers can evaluate. The website is available at this link: http://www.cfra.org/policy/health-care.

The Affordable Care Act allows businesses with 25 or fewer employees to offset 35 percent of an employee's health care costs, Gorham added.

"These employers are covered as small business tax credits in the new laws, and both laws provide significant and crucial relief for family farmers, ranchers, and 'main street' business owners who have watched their health insurance premiums climb over the past few years," Gorham said.