Throughout the United States, we are responding to the health care needs of low-income, uninsured and under-insured people by supporting more than 600 health care safety net organizations in 47 states, as well as offering direct primary care through four of our own free clinics in Connecticut. We provide our partners with a diverse supply of medicines, vaccines, medical supplies and hygiene products to alleviate patient and organizational costs and improve the delivery of quality care. We also respond with emergency aid when natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados and wildfires strike.
Snapshot of the United States:
According to the Commonwealth Fund, 84 million Americans (nearly half of the U.S. population) were uninsured or underinsured last year. Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is projected to address the issues of health care access and affordability, it is not a panacea, and access to care for the nation’s uninsured population will remain a critical problem. The latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office estimate that 30 million people will remain uninsured in 2023 when the ACA is in full effect.
Further contributing to the ongoing need to serve uninsured populations, all states – even states that successfully adopt the entirety of the ACA legislation – are likely to face forces driving demand for free care. These include:
- Existing shortage of primary care providers will be exacerbated
- Continued decline in employer-sponsored health insurance
- Insurance affordability challenges even with ACA subsidies
Among the low-income, uninsured population in the U.S., chronic diseases account for more than 75 percent of U.S. health care expenditures and are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 45 percent of all uninsured, nonelderly adults report having at least one chronic condition. Specifically, the Urban Institute reports that 4 million (14 percent) of nonelderly adults reporting hypertension are uninsured, and 1.2 million (15 percent) of nonelderly adults reporting diabetes are uninsured.
We are committed to strengthening access to medicines and medical care. We work with health care safety net organizations in 47 states to build their capacity to serve more patients and deliver quality medical care. Beginning with our work in the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina and the Oil Spill, we have expanded our work with clinic partners. So far this fiscal year, the U.S. Medical Assistance Program has delivered more than $60 million in medicines, vaccines and supplies to more than 600 safety net partners across the country. In addition, nearly 3,000 patients now rely on our three free clinics in Connecticut for their primary health care.
The safety net organizations we support provide primary care services to the uninsured and underinsured, including adult and pediatric exams; maintenance and monitoring of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension; vaccination programs, and in some instances gynecology, dental and mental health care.
AmeriCares also oversees the allocation of medicines to thousands of people in the U.S. who would not otherwise have access to prescription drugs through its Patient Assistance Program. Since its beginning, this program has filled more than 3 million prescriptions, representing approximately $2 billion in donated products. So far this fiscal year, the program has filled 118,419 prescriptions, with a donation value of $88,500,000.
In 2013, we're responding to the devastating tornado that shattered parts of Oklahoma City along with other violent storms throughout the South, we continue our large-scale Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, while we prepare for hurricanes and tornadoes before they strike.
In 2012, we committed to a large scale response and recovery effort in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
In 2011 and 2012, we responded to multiple disasters throughout the country: tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and drought.
In 2005 and 2010, a total of $24 million in medical aid and grants was committed to the Gulf region in response to Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In 2001, we responded to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks with over $10 million in aid.
In 2011 we launched a Chronic Disease Initiative in the U.S. that is designed to support and expand the ability of free clinics to manage patients with chronic illnesses. AmeriCares offers clinics “Chronic Disease Bundles” which include a two-year license to web-based patient assistance program application software, a one year supply of education materials and donated medications and critical supplies like insulin syringes needed to manage chronic diseases like diabetes. Twenty-one clinics from 12 states are enrolled in the Initiative and $4.6 million worth of medicines, supplies and equipment have been distributed to them to assist in the delivery of chronic disease care. Read More »
In the aftermath of disasters like Hurricane Katrina, we have worked closely with our emergency partners to help provide counseling and other mental health services for survivors in communities struggling to recover from catastrophic damage. Read More »
Medical Outreach Program
In the U.S. volunteer orthopedic surgeons performed 80 joint replacements in 2012. The replacement surgery program is the U.S component of our Medical Outreach supporting over 1000 medical volunteer medical teams to 83 different countries in the past year.
Recent News from United States
AmeriCares and the American Medical Association (AMA) are introducing a targeted health care program designed to help low-income and uninsured Americans delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Seven free and charitable clinics have been chosen to launch the Initiative.
Working with a local partner on the Texas border, AmeriCares has provided a new, air-conditioned tent to ensure that migrant families fleeing violence in Central America have a safe place to sleep and receive care before they continue on their journey.
Stamford, Conn. –Aug. 14, 2014 – AmeriCares is delivering relief supplies to help clean up homes damaged by historic flooding in the Detroit metropolitan area.
AmeriCares and Nestlé Waters North America delivered three truckloads of bottled water to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank after toxins found in the city’s water supply led to a weekend-long water ban that affected 500,000 Ohio and Michigan residents.
Stamford, Conn. – August 7, 2014 – The OdysseyRe Foundation has committed $2 million over the next five years to support AmeriCares disaster response work and the AmeriCares Free Clinics in Connecticut.
A Florida man discovers he doesn’t have to lose his health care during hard economic times - one of 5 million Americans who benefit from AmeriCares support for more than 600 U.S. safety net providers.
Stamford, Conn. – July 14, 2014 – Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn will be the guest speakers at the AmeriCares Airlift Benefit on September 20, 2014.
After losing health insurance, Ohio couple finds quality health care through an AmeriCares safety net clinic partner – one of more than 1400 across the US.
As Hurricane Arthur moves up the East Coast, AmeriCares emergency response experts are closely monitoring the storm – the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season – and preparing to respond if needed.
Stamford, Conn. – July 3, 2014 – AmeriCares is delivering bottled water for families in Detroit whose homes are without a water supply.
Hurricane season has begun amid forecasts of above average storm activity for 2014. AmeriCares is ready in advance long before a hurricane strikes – so that crucial medicines and relief supplies are in the hands of response partners and survivors as quickly as possible