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Rural Project Examples: Uninsured and underinsured

Effective Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy One Community Health's Wellness Programs
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: Difficulties obtaining healthcare access to treat diabetes and obesity for low-income and Spanish-speaking residents of Oregon and Washington's Columbia River Gorge area.
  • Intervention: A local healthcare facility developed wellness programs using bilingual community health workers to provide education and support that improves diets, physical activity, and teaches stress management.
  • Results: Many participants in the wellness programs have maintained or lost weight and have seen reductions in their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Vegetable vouchers, cooking classes, and budgeting education has also helped patients afford healthy food.
Medical-Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois
Added October 2016
  • Need: Legal barriers often prevent economically disadvantaged people in Southern Illinois from obtaining positive health outcomes despite receiving medical care.
  • Intervention: The Medical-Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois (MLPSI) was formed to create a system where medical providers can refer patients in need of legal assistance to local attorneys.
  • Results: Over 2,500 patients have utilized MLPSI since its founding in 2002. The program has relieved over $8.1 million in medical debt for both hospitals and patients.

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Noble County Outreach Project
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: To help enroll and retain children and their families in health insurance in Noble County, Indiana.
  • Intervention: A school-based health insurance outreach program focused on connecting children to health insurance.
  • Results: More than 600 individuals have enrolled in health insurance.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Northern Dental Access Center Patient Support and Outreach Program
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: To connect low-income people in rural northwest Minnesota to dental care and support services in order to address barriers to care.
  • Intervention: Partners work together to provide patient transportation, care coordination, and insurance navigation and enrollment.
  • Results: Patients accessing support services are more likely to complete dental treatment. Over 1,000 people a year have been assisted with Medicaid enrollment, and reported use of the emergency department for dental pain has been reduced.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Miles for Smiles Mobile Dental Unit
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: Dental care access for children in low-income families living in a 7-county region of southwest Missouri.
  • Intervention: A mobile dental unit was created to expand dental care access.
  • Results: The Miles for Smiles mobile dental clinic provides comprehensive dental care to children throughout the 7-county region
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Innis Community Health Center ACA Outreach and Education Project
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: To inform rural Louisiana residents about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion program.
  • Intervention: A community health center reached out to individuals at their clinic sites, rural hospital emergency rooms, and through local governments and other community agencies.
  • Results: Many rural residents have gained access to health insurance information and enrollment assistance.
Smiles for Life
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: Oral healthcare for low-income adults and children unable to obtain dental care in the Mid-Ohio Valley of West Virginia.
  • Intervention: Public health dental hygienists act as gatekeepers, screening low-income clients and placing them with area dental providers who volunteer, from their private practices, to provide most-needed dental treatment.
  • Results: Reduces the number of emergency department visits for dental pain and infections and provides a safety net for those unable to afford dental treatment.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Woodlake Family Resource Center ACA Outreach and Education Project
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: Educational assistance in understanding the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance options for Spanish-speaking uninsured residents in a rural California.
  • Intervention: A family resource center offered bilingual ACA outreach and education with referral to local health centers for enrollment assistance.
  • Results: 1,740 educational items and 480 newspapers with ACA information were distributed. Seven outreach events reached 880+ individuals, and 467 were referred for enrollment help.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Allegany Health Right ACA Outreach and Education Project
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: To help Allegany County, Maryland, residents learn about their health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act and connect to enrollment specialists.
  • Intervention: A dental safety net provider used existing activities and networks to reach the uninsured, with work done by existing staff plus a temporary Outreach and Education Coordinator.
  • Results: Outreach to 1,639 individuals over a 7-month period, with 602 referred to a navigator and 202 referred for Medicaid enrollment.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Connecting the Chronically Ill
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Baker County, Florida, had many residents living with chronic illnesses and limited access to healthcare services.
  • Intervention: Connecting the Chronically Ill was started to provide Baker County's most vulnerable, chronically ill residents with medical services and health education.
  • Results: The program provided services to almost 400 residents and health education to nearly 900 residents, and it helped reform the area's judicial system for inmates with substance abuse and mental health issues.