As some of you may know, I work at a non-profit pharmacy that provides chronic medications to the underserved community.  We work primarily through free clinics and health centers serving individuals who are uninsured, have a low income, and are 200% of the Federal Poverty Line.  So what does Health Care Reform mean for me and for the patients we serve?  I recently received a very informative e-mail from one of the directors at a free clinic that answers those questions.

Should you be interested, I shall share that e-mail with you now:

Dear Friend,
With the recent passage of health reform I have received many questions regarding the future of the Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic.    While the bill expands coverage to many, there remains many patients who will be in need in our community.   I want to share some key elements about the reform package with you.

Health reform legislation is not scheduled for implementation until 2014 and even when the full implementation is complete in 2019, free clinics will remain necessary for America’s uninsured!

Signs indicate that some 23 million Americans will still lack insurance in 2019, after key provisions of the law have been in effect for as long as five or six years, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate.

  • The bill expands Medicaid to 133% of the federal poverty level. (JSFC Serves Individuals up to 200% of poverty level.)
  • Implementation requirements will start in 2014 and the expectation is that full implementation will take place in 2019.
  • No public option is included in this bill.
  • The bill restricts access to health insurance coverage to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.
  • Individuals will be allowed to opt out of health care coverage and accept a sliding scale penalty.
  • Small employers are exempt from mandatory coverage.
We thank you for your continued support of JSFC and our programs for patients in need in our community.

Meagan Ulrich
Executive Director

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