Community clinics are a great place to turn to for either free or low cost health care. The centers are located in every state across the nation and the thousands of locations cover the majority of the American population. The clinics listed by state below will usually provide health care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay for their medical bills or whether they have insurance or not. They will rarely turn anyone away.
Most community clinics and health care centers are focused on providing either free or low cost medical care to low income patients. This may also support people who either do not have health insurance or who have limited coverage. A free clinic can also help patients on the Affordable Care Act or those with pre-existing medical conditions. People of all backgrounds can be assisted, including immigrants, the elderly, children, and others.
The details of the fee arrangements will also vary by each center, but the most common type of plan is what is known as a sliding fee scale. This means that the community clinic will provide its services and charge the patient only what they can afford to pay for that particular bill. So if someone has zero or close to no income, their medical care will be free or it will be offered at an extremely low rate.
In many instances, a clinic may offer some health care services for free. Patients with no health insurance or whose policy does not cover the procedure that is required may not be charged in some cases. Many children and households living in poverty or Medicaid recipients can also use a free clinic. But if someone has a limited income, they may need to pay a small percentage of the total bill that is due for the medical care that was provided to them.
The type of medical care and services provided by these clinics will vary by state, county, and the exact policies of the center. For example, some of the facilities may offer dental care, free prescription medications, general checkups, immunization shots, referrals to specialists, and more. While not as common, some health care centers offer emergency care too. However if someone is interested in what is exactly provided at a specific community clinic they will need to call the health care center and ask.
Patients will need to make an inquiry as to what is offered. Individuals should also inquire as to whether the service be free or have a cost, how does the application process work, and other applicable questions. The fact is that most of these locations have their own terms and conditions in place. What is provided at one clinic may be completely different then the services at another site.
Community clinics and health care centers are not the only options available. Those households that have a low income, are working poor, or uninsured often have many other options available to them. There are dozens of other medical assistance programs as well as related resources are also available. The programs from a community clinic may focus on helping the disabled or a family that is enrolled into Medicaid. Other scenarios can be covered too.
These resources can be offered by non-profits, drug companies, government assistance programs, and both private or non-profit agencies. They partner with clinics to help the most vulnerable among the population as well as the uninsured. Many of the services operate nationwide and will provide medical help to patients in all parts of the country.
Clinics that focus on dental care - While some of the community clinics may provide limited dental care, there are other locations that specialize in this. Treatment may include cleanings, root canals, fluoride and more. Read how to get access to high quality, yet affordable, treatment from dental centers.
Eyeglasses - Various non-profit organizations can provide free eye exams and/or prescription glasses. Some may offer contact lenses as well. Many children benefit from an eyeglass program at a community health care center. This can also include any needed testing and exams. Read more on the programs.
Free prescription drugs from clinics – Many drug companies, non-profits, and government programs offer free or very low cost prescription medications to income eligible patients. They partner with free clinics to ensure that patients living in poverty can get the help they need. Learn more on free prescription medications.
Free health care programs - There are many other resources that are in addition to the community clinics listed below. For example, learn about free services from pharmaceutical companies, government programs, United Way supported organizations, and more. Click here.
Government funded clinics - Many non-profits health and dental centers receive funding from the federal government Health and Human Services department. The sites are required by law to provide affordable medical and/or dental care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Most centers operate on a sliding fee scale, and they are open to Spanish speakers, immigrants, and other vulnerable individuals. The uninsured, less fortunate, homeless individuals, migrants, and others can receive assistance. Learn more.
Medical bills – Several non-profit agencies can provide grants or financial assistance to patients to help them pay medical and hospital bills. Clinics may help offset expenses incurred by cancer patients, offer payment plans, and more. Learn more on medical bill financial assistance.
Uninsured - Some patients who use community clinics do not have health insurance or maybe the procedure or medication they need is not covered. A free health care center may also not address patients with pre-existing conditions. While many of the clinics will try to assist these patients, individuals who lack insurance coverage have several other resources, including government programs and non-profit services, available to them. Get a listing of additional uninsured medical programs.
Below you can find information on low cost or free community clinics that are located in your state. This is just a sampling of the locations. Not all of the centers will be listed for your state, but you will find phone numbers to locate additional community clinics, as well as links to information on other medical and financial assistance programs in your state and local county.
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