Our Free Medical Clinic serves area residents who are uninsured. Over the last five years, we have seen an increase in the number of patients served. As people lose their jobs and/or their health insurance, and the cost of health care continues to rise, access to care is increasingly a priority.
The reality of being uninsured is more common than you think; One out of seven Americans is uninsured. This isn’t just a statistic. It’s a tragedy.
–American Medical Association
According to Health and Human Services, approximately 50 million Americans are uninsured.
Most uninsured people have virtually no savings.
Every year, nearly 2 million uninsured Americans are hospitalized.
58-percent of these hospital stays result in bills of more than $10,000
Uninsured families can, on average, afford to pay the full bills for only about 12-percent of the hospital stays they might experience
These bills account for just 5-percent of the total amount hospitals bill the uninsured
“Health insurance is critical in helping protect families from unexpected hospital costs,” said Sherry Glied, HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation. “This report shows that even higher income uninsured families are struggling to meet the high costs of health care. No family should bear the burden of being one illness or accident away from bankruptcy.”
(quote taken from Health & Human Services press release, dated May 2011, referenced on hhs.gov/news/press)
- Health Care Safety Net are “those providers that organize and deliver a significant level of health care and other health-related services to uninsured, Medicaid, and other vulnerable patients” at substantially lower costs. (As defined by the Institute of Medicine)
- Free clinics and community health centers have added 47,824 new uninsured patients in the last 2½ years (18,000 in the last year alone); it is expected that more than 300,000 Virginians living at 200% FPL or below will continue to be uninsured even after national health care reform is fully implemented in 2014 according to the Urban Institute; that means there will be 100,000 additional Virginians seeking health care from free clinics and community health centers than are currently being served.
- Although free clinics were able to recruit 5,000 more professional volunteers to serve patients, they still had to turn away 10,000+ uninsured Virginians last year including adults with Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease because of limited capacity.
- A record-breaking 38% of community health center patients were uninsured in 2010; they accounted for 47% of all patient visits. This is far beyond the 25% limit required for sustainability.
- Altogether, free clinics and community health centers cared for 198,000 uninsured Virginians last year (36% of all uninsured adults < 200% FPL).