About the Uninsured

Although Medicaid expansion has helped 1,500 Page County Residents, uninsured rates are around 13.5% in Page County. – Ben Dolewski, Executive Director, Page Free Clinic

The Page Free Clinic serves up to 20 people a week and this number continues to grow.

As people lose their jobs and/or their health insurance, and the cost of health care continues to rise, access to care is increasingly a priority.

The reality of being uninsured is more common than you think; One out of seven Americans is uninsured. This isn’t just a statistic. It’s a tragedy. –American Medical Association

  • According to Health and Human Services, approximately 50 million Americans were uninsured until the Affordable Care Act went into affect.  Now that statistic has dropped to 27.5 million or 8.5%.
  • Every year, nearly 2 million uninsured Americans were hospitalized, but this number has dropped to 1.5 million due to the Affordable Care Act.
  • Prior to the Affordable Care Act, 58-percent of these hospital stays resulted in bills of more than $10,000.  Now it is down to 35%.
  • On average, uninsured families can only pay for 12% of those hospital stays.

“Health insurance is critical in helping protect families from unexpected hospital costs,” said Sherry Glied, HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation. “This report shows that even higher income uninsured families are struggling to meet the high costs of health care. No family should bear the burden of being one illness or accident away from bankruptcy.”  (quote taken from Health & Human Services press release, dated May 2011, Health and Human Services)

Virginia Statistics

  • Health Care Safety Net are “those providers that organize and deliver a significant level of health care and other health-related services to uninsured, Medicaid, and other vulnerable patients” at substantially lower costs. (As defined by the Institute of Medicine)
  • Free clinics and community health centers have added 47,824 new uninsured patients in recent years.  Even with Medicaid expansion, more than 10% of the Virginia population remains uninsured, according to the Urban Institute.
  • Although free clinics were able to recruit 5,000 more professional volunteers to serve patients, they still had to turn away 10,000+ uninsured Virginians last year including adults with Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease because of limited capacity.
  • A record-breaking 38% of community health center patients were uninsured in 2010; they accounted for 47% of all patient visits. This is far beyond the 25% limit required for sustainability.  For more information, visit the link to Virginia Health Care Foundation’s website below.
  • Altogether, the state’s 60 free clinics see about 60,000 patients a year, according to the Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.  See link to their website below.

Virginia Health Care Foundation      Virginia Free Clinics