Services for Uninsured Residents in Escambia County

We receive many requests for help with services for the uninsured population in our community.  Escambia County is home to more than 77,000 uninsured residents, whether it be becuase they cannot afford their own private health insurance or because they make too much money for Medicaid or Medicare.  Some residents are considered uninsured because they have "coverage" under the Medicaid-Medically Needy program.  This program is designed so that each patient has a monthly threshold amount they must cover themselves before their Medicaid coverage "kicks in".  For some patients, that amount is $1,200 .... monthly.  So, what's out there if you find yourself without health insurance and need primary care, specialty care and dental care?

What's available? Who offers it? How do you get it?

To quote a very smart person, "there is not a lack of resources .... just a lack of education on how to access those resources." 

Primary Care Services

     1. Health & Hope Clinic (Call any clinic location to learn the steps of becoming a new patient)

                www.healthandhopeclinic.org

                Olive Rd. (850) 479-4456                

                Downtown Clinic (850) 607-7775

     2. St. Joseph's Medical Clinic (Walk in; applications filled out onsite)

                (850) 434-8162

     3. Escambia Community Clinic (Primary Care & Urgent Care available)

                www.ecc-clinic.org

             (850) 436-4630

                   **Fees are based on a Sliding Fee Scale.  Please let them know your household income for the appropriate fee or let them know you do not have the ability to pay.

 Specialty Care Services

    1. We Care Specialty Care Network

This network is specifically used by Primary Care Providers (PCP).  You must have a referral from a PCP to utilize the We Care network.  This information is merely to let you know it exists, to ensure you know you have options.  If you have a need for specialty care, please seek out care at one of the above Primary Care Service Providers so they can link to you We Care.

     2. Hospital Systems

Each of our hospital systems has their own Uncompensated Care or Charity Care program.  Patients will need to contact the Financial Services Dept. at any given hospital in order to receive the appropriate financial packet prior to receiving services.  ***We urge you to find care at a Primary Care Provider above BEFORE it's too late and the Emergency Department is the only option.***

Dental Care

     1. Health & Hope Clinic (Call any clinic location to learn the steps of becoming a new patient)

             www.healthandhopeclinic.org

             Patients much first see a general practitioner to evaluate overall health prior to having dental consultation.  Dental services include: Consultation, Cleanings, Restorative Care and Extractions

     2. St. Joseph's Medical Clinic (Walk in; applications filled out onsite)

             Dental services on-site: Consultations  **all dental procedures will be referred out to partnering dental offices**

     3.  Escambia Community Clinic - www.ecc-clinic.org

             (850) 912-8880  **This is a different phone number than Primary Care Services

 

Inevitably, we're asked the most important follow up question with regard to offering free healthcare and that is: "Now that I've seen the doctor, how do I get my medications?"

Medications are just as important as seeing the doctor or receiving treatment, and yet, they're generally an afterthought when it comes to healthcare.  The good news, again, is that there are many options out there.  It just takes a simple education to understand where to go.  I can only speak to Health & Hope Clinic when I offer the specific process to receiving meds, but I loosely know these processes exist at all the listed Primary Care Service Providers above.

Here's a great list of how to access medications once the doctor's appointment has taken place:

     1. Patient Assistance Program a.k.a. Prescription Assistance Program

           These are free medications through the large drug manufacturers.  They are only brand name medications and all patients must pass a qualification process.  The good news is most clinics, like Health & Hope Clinic, offer the service of filling out these applications and maintaining these refills for a period of one year.  All medications are free.  Anyone can access these programs by visiting the website for the specific drug manufacturer.

     2. In House Pharmacy

            Health & Hope Clinic has an in-house pharmacy to serve the short-term medication needs of our patients.  These meds are strictly for our providers to start a patient on a certain drug or dosage to see what will work best for the patient.  Additionally, when patients are accepted into the Patient Assistance Program, it normally takes 4-6 weeks to recieve the first medication.  The in-house pharmacy fills that medication gap until the program "kicks in".

     3. Retail Pharmacy Programs

             Did you know there are tons of free & very inexpensive medications at places like Publix, Walgreens, Wal-mart, Winn Dixie and Target?

             Click the store name above to access that store's list of specially priced medications.

    4. Good Rx - www.goodrx.com

             It never fails ... there's always an app! The Good Rx app will allow you to choose your location, your drug (by brand or generic), let you choose your dosage and fill amount, then show you the prices for your meds at all the nearest pharmacies.

For more community services, both health related and social services, there are two resources you need to know about.

     1. United Way 2-1-1 www.211nwfl.org

             You can dial 2-1-1 on any phone and reach an operator 24/7 who can advise you of any and all resources in Escambia County.  Don't lose this number!!

     2. Street Survival Guide by EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless

             www.escarosa.wordpress.com

             These are published and printed booklets you can keep with you find the organizations that offer services in Escambia County.

             (850) 436-4646

We hope this has been an informative blog post for you.  Please let us know if we can do anything to help you or anyone you know.               

 

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