Free clinic expands services to reach more people

MADISON COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Madison Free Clinic recently expanded its services so it can provide more health care to residents.

Last fall, the General Assembly passed a bill that would expand Medicaid coverage.

Medicaid now covers up to 138 percent of people at the federal poverty line or below.

Before the new year, the clinic would cover people up to 200 percent of the FPL.

Now, it covers up to 300 percent.

For example, a household of two people under Medicaid would have to make $22,175 or below to qualify for coverage.

At the clinic, a household salary would have to be making $49,380 or less to qualify.

Brenda Clements, the executive director of the clinic, said that they are happy to provide more services to Madison residents because there is a huge need to provide health care for the working poor residents.

"There has been a realization on the part of the community, the board and everybody in general that there are many people that desperately need health care and have no access other than the emergency room and we all know what happens when people go to the emergency room with now insurance," said Clements. "The emergency room takes them, but the patient then gets a large bill."

CShe said that if patients could afford the bill, they could afford an insurance premium but that is not the case.

The free clinic is looking to keep people without insurance from having to go to the emergency room for their only health visitation.

The clinic is also working to obtain a grant so it can hire an outreach coordinator to help people sign up for Medicaid in other areas of the county.

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