SOURCE: TAP-IN

TAP-IN

February 16, 2009 09:59 ET

As Job Losses Mount, Free Clinics Become More Important

Free Clinics Fill the Gap for Jobless, Working Poor and Uninsured

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ--(Marketwire - February 16, 2009) - As more Americans lose their jobs, they're also losing their health insurance, according to a report by Families USA. The advocacy group's study concludes that 54 percent of the country's lower-income unemployed workers do not qualify for Medicaid yet cannot afford private insurance coverage.

High quality health care is available for these workers and their families, however, through the nearly 1,200 free clinics across the country.

"This is the mission of free clinics," said Nicole Lamoureux, Executive Director of the National Association of Free Clinics, the only national non-profit solely focused on the needs of free clinics and the populations they serve. "Free clinics exist to provide quality care to those who make too much to qualify for government programs, like Medicaid, yet not enough to afford private insurance."

Free clinics are community-based volunteer organizations that serve only those who are uninsured and low-income. There are clinics located in all 50 states providing free access to basic health care services for more than 4 million citizens annually. Free clinics rely on charitable donations and volunteers to function and return approximately $4 in health care services for every $1 donated. To find a free clinic in your area, visit www.freeclinics.us.

"As more Americans find themselves unemployed and uninsured, more clinic volunteers are needed," said David S. Reynolds, Ph.D., co-director of TAP-IN, an organization that recruits retired and retiring health professionals to serve in clinics in seven markets: Atlanta; Charlotte; Cleveland; Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC; Hampton Roads, VA; Houston, and Richmond. TAP-IN hopes to be active in 25 states by 2015. Contact TAP-IN and discover the rewards of volunteering in a free clinic.

About TAP-IN

TAP-IN was created in 2004 as a creative way to apply a rich and underutilized resource -- hundreds of thousands of retired and near retirement health professionals -- to a serious and growing social problem -- 47 million uninsured Americans. TAP-IN needs volunteer physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, mental health counselors and social workers. For more information, visit http://www.tap-in.org/ or call 877-605-3250.

About the National Association of Free Clinics

The NAFC is the only national non-profit whose mission is solely focused on the needs of free clinics and the populations they serve. Founded in 2001 by free clinic leaders from across the country, the NAFC supports community-based, non-profit, volunteer-supported free clinics serving the uninsured and underinsured. The leadership of the NAFC focuses on bringing advocacy, networking, and needed resources to free clinics to help them face their many challenges. To learn more about the work of the association, visit http://www.freeclinics.us/ or call (703) 647-7427.

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