A free clinic is a healthcare center which offers services to financially struggling patients for free or at a low cost. The federal government provides funding for many free clinics. Most free clinics treat routine illnesses or injuries, and also long term chronic conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, asthma, and/or high cholesterol. As well, many free medical clinics also provide limited medical testing, prescription assistance, dental care, and women’s health care. Most clinics do not provide emergency care, handle employment related injuries and/or dispense narcotics.
Free healthcare is provided to eligible patients with limited incomes, no insurance and are ineligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid. Some clinics charge a nominal fee to patients with over a specified income threshold to offset costs. Most free clinics offer their services to underinsured patients with limited medical coverage who cannot afford to pay for their medical care including the high deductible.
Core staff working at free clinics may hold full-time paid positions however most staff are local volunteers from the medical community.