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
Stamford, Conn. – Jan. 28, 2016 – AmeriCares and Nestlé Waters North America are delivering bottled water to Flint, Michigan, where the tap water is tainted with lead.
Stamford, Conn. – Jan. 25, 2016 – AmeriCares is helping thousands of Americans with thyroid disease thanks to a major medication donation in recognition of Thyroid Awareness Month.
Stamford, Conn. –Dec. 14, 2015 – AmeriCares is pleased to announce Dr. Katy Close has been elected to the AmeriCares Board of Directors. A board-certified internist specializing in medical care for the underserved, Dr. Close practices at the AmeriCares Free Clinics in Connecticut, providing primary care services to low-income patients without health insurance.
An asthma patient finds treatment at AmeriCares mobile free clinic in Stamford CT. Access to care transforms life for the patient and his family.
Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 15, 2015 – Uninsured Americans in seven states will have the opportunity to receive flu shots at no cost this fall thanks to a new collaboration between AmeriCares and Walgreens.
AmeriCares is rushing emergency medicine and relief supplies to South Carolina for families affected by the historic flooding. The shipments are headed to three free clinics in the state serving uninsured and low-income families
Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 7, 2015 – AmeriCares is rushing emergency medicine and relief supplies to South Carolina for families affected by the historic flooding.
Stamford, Conn. – Oct. 6, 2015 – The AmeriCares Airlift Benefit on Oct. 3, 2015, raised a record $2.6 million for the emergency response and global health organization’s work in more than 90 countries.
Stamford, Conn. – Sept. 30, 2015 – AmeriCares released a new disaster preparedness planning guide for free and charitable clinics today to help these important safety net facilities continue operating during emergencies.
Stamford, Conn. – Sept. 28, 2015 – AmeriCares will expand access to care for low-income patients living with mental illness by donating medications to community mental health centers across the U.S.
Stamford, Conn. – Sept. 1, 2015 – AmeriCares and Walgreens are offering flu shots in four Connecticut cities to help keep the uninsured healthy this winter. Flu shots will be available at no cost for eligible residents ages 18 and over without health insurance.
Stamford, Conn. – July 22, 2015 – AmeriCares is a proud supporter of the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015 (LA2015), providing donated medical supplies to keep athletes healthy throughout nine days of competition.
AmeriCares is providing primary support for the 2015 National Survey of Free & Charitable Clinics – a key initiative to assess the impact of health reform on safety net clinics and identify new needs and resource gaps that have resulted from health reform.
AmeriCares rushed medical and humanitarian aid to local partners in Oklahoma, Texas and Illinois after days of tornadoes and record rainfall in the Plains and Midwest region caused major flooding in May and June.
Hurricane season is underway and AmeriCares prepares 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.