"The Affordable Care Act did not erase the need for improved access," said
"Options for health insurance do not mean access to affordable health care," she said. "So our new patient numbers remain constant."
The clinic, which recently moved to a larger building at
"In 2014, we saw a little dip when the expanded
Clinic patients include people who have bronze insurance plans. These plans are affordable with low premiums with high deductibles. People who can't afford to pay their medical bills until they reach their deductible end up at the clinic, McLaughlin said.
At the clinic, care is free but there is a donation box.
Clinic patients also include people who are between jobs, meaning they also are between health insurance plans, she said. Some have new jobs, meaning they no longer qualify for
Some patients are people in crisis -- such as someone fleeing domestic violence or who is suddenly homeless; they need health care but didn't complete the paperwork for insurance.
And, some are immigrants who are undocumented and were left out of the ACA.
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Clinic office staff are spending more time verifying applicants' eligibility and whether care is available elsewhere, including at doctors' offices,
"We continue to make sure that individuals in our community who have no where else to go for affordable health care are taken care of," McLaughlin said.
With the elected
"People will look at their options, and, if they see none, they will look to the clinic," she said.
"Our mission, our responsibility, is to provide quality care to people who need us," she said. "Our staff will work hard to continue to serve the under-served -- whoever they end up being."
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