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
For three years, AmeriCares and Operation Walk USA have partnered to provide hip and knee replacements for uninsured and underinsured patients throughout the U.S. who suffer from arthritic disease and could not otherwise afford the life-changing surgeries.
Stamford, Conn. – March 17, 2014 – AmeriCares is outfitting the Women’s and Children’s Pavilion at the HealthPlex hospital in Norman, Okla., with new medical equipment to help meet the increase in demand for maternity care since the May tornadoes destroyed a neighboring hospital.
In recognition of American Heart Month, AmeriCares is providing $17 million in cardiovascular medicines for low-income patients in the United States suffering from hypertension and high cholesterol.
Stamford, Conn. – Feb. 24, 2014 – AmeriCares is providing $17 million in cardiovascular medicines for low-income patients in the United States suffering from hypertension and high cholesterol in recognition of American Heart Month.
Stamford, Conn. – Jan. 28, 2014 – AmeriCares is helping thousands of low-income patients in the United States with thyroid disease by providing the equivalent of one month of medication for 15,000 patients with underactive thyroid function.
Stamford, Conn. – Jan. 16, 2014 – AmeriCares is sending Family Emergency Kits to West Virginia to help residents affected by the recent chemical spill.
Through AmeriCares partnership, the Rocksprings Clinic in Georgia provides quality care to uninsured and underserved patients from the area by providing medications and a variety of patient assistance programs.
A Hurricane Sandy survivor describes her experience swimming alongside Diana Nyad at Nyad Swim for Relief, a 48-hour swim to benefit the AmeriCares Hurricane Sandy Relief Program.
One year after Hurricane Sandy struck, AmeriCares has provided more than $6.5 million in assistance for Sandy survivors and we continue to help.
Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 28, 2013 – One year after Superstorm Sandy battered the East Coast with its hurricane-strength winds and massive storm surges, AmeriCares Hurricane Sandy Relief Program continues to meet the medical and mental health needs of survivors.
AmeriCares has worked with 16 organizations that are helping Sandy survivors with physical disabilities or impairments -- part of $3 million in Sandy recovery funding to date.
Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 24, 2013 – Proceeds from famed endurance swimmer Diana Nyad’s 48-hour swim marathon will fund art therapy and health counseling for Hurricane Sandy survivors in two of New York City’s hardest hit neighborhoods.