Free Clinics Expanding Mission To Help Insured Patients With High Expenses

(By Michelle Andrews for Kaiser Health News)

Denise Johnson works two jobs, but neither of them offers health insurance to part-timers like her. She signed up for a marketplace plan this year, but for routine medical care, Johnson still goes to the free clinic near her Charlottesville, Virginia, home.

The problem is her plan’s deductible of at least $1,000. She can’t recall the precise figure, but it doesn’t really matter. “It’s absolutely high,” said Johnson, 58. “Who can afford that?” She struggles to pay her $28 monthly premium.

By continuing to visit the free clinic where she’s been a patient for a few years, Johnson said she saves hundreds of dollars a year on blood pressure and diuretic medications, her EpiPen and allergy pills. In addition to the drugs, she also sees a primary care doctor every six months at the clinic to keep tabs on her borderline diabetes and an allergist once a year. Read article here…..

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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