“Cover the Uninsured Week,” sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is April 27- May 3. Its purpose is to draw attention to the plights of the one in seven Americans who do not have health insurance. Below are some myths and facts about the uninsured population, courtesy of the organization’s Web site, www.covertheuninsured.org:
MYTH: People without health coverage don’t work.
FACT: More than eight in 10 of non-elderly uninsured Americans (82.8 percent) live in families where the head of the family works.
MYTH: Most people without health insurance are very poor.
FACT: In 2006, more than 33 million of the uninsured had household incomes of $25,000 or more, compared with nearly 14 million in households earning less. (The federal poverty level for a family of four in 2008 is $21,200.)
MYTH: It doesn’t really matter whether a person has health insurance.
FACT: An estimated 18,000 to 22,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have health coverage.
MYTH: Virtually everyone who works for a large employer has health coverage.
FACT: One in five uninsured workers (22.4 percent) is employed in firms with 500 or more employees.
According to a needs assessment conducted by Madison County Family Council in 2003, an estimated 12 percent of Madison County residents were living without health insurance.
One community resource for these people is Madison County Health Partners (MCHP) Free Clinic, which cares for low-income uninsured residents of Madison County. Last year the Free Clinic served over 350 of our neediest neighbors, providing them with free medical office visits, mammograms and pap tests, and assistance with medications, laboratory testing, x-rays, and referrals to medical specialists.
We are able to care for a larger number of people every year thanks to the generosity of our volunteers and supporters.
While it’s the MCHP Free Clinic mission to care for those who are between insurance, it is also our desire to let the community at large know about what is happening right here in Madison County. If you would like to schedule a tour of our clinic or inquire about volunteering or donating, please call me at 740-845-7286. Thank you.
Melissa Canney, executive director
Madison County Health Partners Free Clinic