Posted on February 2, 2010 at 1:07 PM
A new clinic on San Antonio’s west side is targeting people who work, but still have no insurance. These are patients who often fall through the cracks.
43-year-old Adriana Valdez works hard for a living. But even hard work doesn’t always have its benefits. “I work full time as a home health provider,” she said, “but since they qualify me as a part-time status, I do not qualify for their insurance.”
She’s exactly the kind of patient this new office opened to treat. The Faith Family Clinic, 700 S. Zarzamora, is a non-profit primary care practice.
How many people are working, yet uninsured? More than 400,000 people in the San Antonio area.
“So we’re looking to find the pocket of people that don’t qualify for Carelink and the services that the government offers,” explained Penne Jaster, RN, a family nurse practitioner at Faith Family Clinic. “But at the same time, they’re working. They’re working professionals. They just don’t medical insurance.”
The clinic’s only been open since November, and already the clinic sees a lot of people with chronic medical problems that need a lot of management and attention: diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity.
“If the disease isn’t managed and moved down to a normal level, then you still have the risks that you would have completely untreated,” Jaster commented.
Patients pay $10 to $50 per visit, depending on their income. It’s a kind of health reform on the local level that may keep some people out of the emergency room and on their feet.
As she works on her college degree, Valdez is hopeful she won’t need their services forever. “I think that’s going to help me progress to get a good job with insurance,” she said. “But right now, I’m in between.”
Many of the working uninsured in Bexar County have jobs in restaurants, retail and hospitality. Now they have another option to stay healthy while they earn a living.
The Faith Family Clinic can be reached at (210) 431-7380.