Of all the areas that MHP Salud operates in, our agency recognized that there was the greatest need for insurance enrollment assistance in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Not only are there many uninsured individuals in the area, but environmental challenges unique to the region create additional challenges for people navigating the often complex insurance process to connect to care.
The Rio Grande Valley has an incredibly large uninsured population; approximately one-third of residents do not have health insurance. Combined, the border’s uninsured population comprises 8.3% that of Texas.
There are unique challenges in the area that prevent people from connecting to insurance coverage and other important resources. Colonias, which are prevalent in the Rio Grande Valley, are unregulated residential areas that often lack basic services such as water, electricity, sewage and garbage removal, street paving and maintenance, police and fire protection, and drainage. These environmental barriers all influence an individual’s daily life and makes accessing needed services and care even more difficult.
The population living in the Rio Grande Valley additionally face barriers relating to language, socio-economic status and education:
- 74% of residents speak a language other than English at home.
- 1% of the population live in poverty and 61.8% are considered low-income.
- 41% of residents aged 25 and older did not graduate high school.
These all affect an individual’s ability to navigate the health insurance process. Luckily, Community Health Workers working as Navigators have helped numerous individuals overcome these barriers and address their insurance-related needs.