Luz Lopez is a naturally caring person. She’s willing to do just about anything she can to help anyone, especially her family. Family is essential to Luz, a housewife, and mother in rural Mississippi. Like most mothers, Luz spends so much time ensuring everyone has what they need that she neglects to take care of herself.
Although being a mom and a wife is more than a full-time job, she is technically unemployed, which means she has no employer-provided health insurance. Moreover, living in rural Mississippi means limited providers and clinics. Some clinics do not even see patients who do not have health insurance.
According to an April 2023 article in Mississippi Today, many state hospitals were financially vulnerable. During the pandemic, the cost to run hospitals increased — supplies and labor became more expensive, but hospital profit did not increase. The situation siphoned money out of the state’s struggling hospitals, and now the state’s healthcare infrastructure is crumbling. A third of Mississippi’s rural hospitals are still at risk of closure, and over half are at risk of immediate closure.
Luz feels like her health is declining daily, leading her to think something is wrong, but she has no idea what it is. Having no insurance and being unable to pay out of pocket for care keeps her internally stressing about all the what-ifs. The uncertainty has driven Luz to consider traveling to get medical care in hopes of getting the treatment she needs despite her lack of health insurance.
Luz fears for her life and health, not because of her surroundings but because of what’s happening in her body. It’s a scary experience she wouldn’t wish on anyone. Married and single stay-at-home moms of rural communities without medical insurance deserve to be cared for just as any white-collar professional living in a metropolitan area with Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage. Mississippi is full of people living in rural towns, and their needs don’t change because they live 100 miles from a clinic or a hospital.