One of the most popular sections of the NeedyMeds website is our listing of Free, Low-Cost, and Sliding-Scale clinics. As health care has become more and more expensive, the need for low-cost health care has increased. Many people living in more rural parts of the country have a very limited number of options to see a doctor, and depending on their insurance status the number of available “in-network” doctors is even lower. Many people do not regularly see their doctor, only seeking help when a more serious condition arises. It can be a scary situation to be uninsured and have an unforeseen medical problem come up.
Free, Low-Cost, or Sliding Scale?
We list three different types of clinics on NeedyMeds.org. The first are free clinics which are of no cost to the patient (self explanatory). The second are low-cost clinics which usually have a low flat-fee for all patients or types of visit. The third are sliding-scale clinics. The price for these clinics is based on the patient’s ability to pay, and is usually derived from their income and family size as it relates to the federal poverty level.
What Services are Offered?
Each clinic offers a different variety of services. Many clinics are just medical clinics and do not offer any other services, and there are also many strictly-dental clinics. There are plenty of clinics, however, that offer a wide array of services. Some services include women’s health, mental health, family planning, STD testing, vision, pediatrics, podiatry and pharmacy services among others. Each clinic also has its own hours, and may only serve select towns or counties.
Are There any Requirements?
Every clinic also has its own set of eligibility requirements. In most cases these requirements deal with insurance status, income and family size. Some clinics require that the patient has no insurance whatsoever while others work with both the uninsured and underinsured. Many clinics accept patients on Medicare and Medicaid – but not all. Sliding-scale clinics in general have an income requirement based on the federal poverty level, making the clinic only available to those under a certain annual income. There are also many clinics that have no income requirements.
How do I Find a Clinic?
We list over 13,000 clinics on NeedyMeds, making it very easy to find one near you. From the Free Clinics page, either click on your state or type in your zip code to find a clinic in your area. A list of local clinics will appear with contact information, as well as eligibility requirements, services, and hours. You can print out a selection of clinics or the entire page of clinics from your search.
This is a great service and one I think could be offered soon in the UK. The NHS in the UK are moving more towards private podiatry health care providers. People in rural areas need this type of service. Especially now broadband services have improved.