Health insurance Your Coverage Options

To save money on your care, consider using a free health clinic

Written by Diane Archer

Because health insurance no longer covers large portions of people’s health care costs, millions of people with insurance are struggling to pay their premiums, deductibles, copays and costs for out-of-network care. Did you know that even if you have insurance, you may be able to save money on your care by using a free local clinic? According to a recent Kaiser Health News article, many people rely on free health clinics and these clinics are growing to meet their needs.

There are 1200 free and charitable health clinics across the United States. Using a free clinic for your care could save you hundreds of dollars a year. If you qualify for care, you could get lower-cost prescriptions through these clinics as well as lower-cost primary medical care. Some clinics also offer mental health care and dental care.

Many free health clinics serve the underinsured–people with health insurance whose out-of-pocket costs for premiums and deductibles amount to at least 10 percent of their income–as well as the uninsured. So, it’s worth looking into them even if you have insurance.

The Commonwealth Fund found that in 2014 almost one in four adults under 65 were underinsured, 31 million people; people who are underinsured may have a deductible that is at least five percent of their annual income, or they may spend at least ten percent of their income on out-of-pocket costs, excluding their premiums.

If you’re struggling to get an appointment with a doctor, using a free health clinic also may enable you to get an appointment more quickly.

To find a free or charitable health clinic near you, visit the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.

Here’s more from Just Care on free and low-cost care:

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