Free clinics are filling the access gap for people who have health insurance coverage but can't afford their premiums or deductibles, according to an article from Kaiser Health News.
Experts predicted that the Affordable Care Act would ease the need for free clinics. But even as fewer people are uninsured, there is still a problem with those who are underinsured. Twenty-three percent of adults younger than 65 who had coverage in 2014 were underinsured.
Jack Hoadley, a research professor at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, said that free clinics, especially in parts of Virginia, Florida and Ohio, are "very much needed by people who qualify for insurance subsidies but still can't afford the copays or deductibles to get care," KHN reports.
Medicaid expansion has helped lower out-of-pocket costs in some states, but some beneficiaries still use free clinics. KHN reports that some people go to free clinics because they can't get appointments with providers, especially in rural areas, and others return after they drop their marketplace plan because the penalty for not having coverage is less expensive.
To learn more:
- here is the KHN article