There are political arguments back and forth about health care, and the debate isn’t likely to stop any time soon. However, what is clear is there are many people in Alabama who don’t get proper care and their health suffers because of it.
This article is intended to provide some options for care. We hope you will find some help if you are in a situation where you don’t have coverage or lack of it.
WHNT News 19 contacted Arise Citizens Policy Project, a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of 150 congregations and community groups as well as hundreds of individuals who believe low-income people in Alabama are suffering because of state policy decisions. The ACPP’s mission is to promote state and national policies that improve the lives of these low-income Alabamians.
We asked the ACPP what options exist for people who don’t have insurance. They suggest community health centers can offer some help. In our state, they operate through the Alabama Primary Health Care Association, or APHCA. The clinics, also called Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHC’s, are non-profit private or public entities that serve medically underserved populations.
These aren’t hospitals — they’re more of a place where you can see a doctor or other health care worker for preventive care. It’s much like a doctor visit, with family medicine, pediatric care, dental care and other services. Some also offer OB care. The clinics accept anyone who walks in the doors – people who have no insurance or are underinsured.
“We’re a safety net for Alabama’s residents. We will help them regardless of their ability to pay,” said Brittany Roosendaal, APHCA’s Business Development Manager.
Sometimes, a patient will need more specialized care the community health center doesn’t offer. The center can arrange this through a local hospital or another health care provider.
These community health centers serve all but seven of Alabama’s 67 counties. There are 15 head organizations, each with service areas and multiple clinics. In all, there are 131 locations in Alabama. Visit findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov to search for a center near you. You can also call the Alabama Primary Health Care Association, or APHCA, at (334) 271-7068.
Offices also have certified application counselors on site. They’ll help patients see if they qualify for Medicaid or another type of insurance through the marketplace.