HEALTH CARE

American Muslim Community Clinic Covers Insurance Gap

Orlando, Florida – In central Florida, several mobile clinics and federally-approved medical centers serve low-income, uninsured patients in the area.

One such medical institution, American Muslim Community Clinics, shows that grassroots organizations can reach out to the poor and uninsured in Central Florida. This ambitious project serves approximately 8,500 people in the region and highlights existing gaps in the healthcare system.


What you need to know

  • Over 2.5 million Florida non-seniors are uninsured

  • More than 400,000 uninsured people in Florida are not eligible for ACA tax credits or Medicaid

  • Central Florida has five mobile clinics and more than eight federally accredited medical centers.


Before the clinic was founded in 2017, Atif Fareed, an active member of the Longwood-based American Muslim Community Center, saw an opportunity.

“We have a lot of doctors in our area,” said Farid, a commercial pilot. “And I go, ‘Hey doctor, why don’t you come volunteer for us?'” one doctor joked, “If you open a clinic, I’ll volunteer for you.” said. ”

Five years later, the Fareed-led clinic has relationships with more than 40 health care providers across the state and health care centers such as AdventHealth-Orlando. The clinic, through partner providers, provides patients with free medical care such as radiology, laboratory, dental care and optometry.

“we [also] Do a lot of telemedicine,” says Fareed. “It started because of Covid, but I was shocked at how popular it was. Because we can get by with

To receive treatment, patients must be uninsured, 18 years of age or older, and have an income below 200% of the federal poverty line.

Ineligible for Medicaid, too weak for ACA

Currently, to be eligible for Medicaid coverage in the state, individuals under age 65 must be pregnant, disabled, responsible for someone under age 18, or responsible for a disabled family member. there must be For those who don’t meet Medicaid criteria, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides tax credits for eligible individuals to purchase health insurance in the market.

But to qualify for the ACA tax credit, people must earn at least the federal poverty level, and more than 400,000 people in Florida are ineligible for neither Medicaid nor ACA assistance.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Community Health Insurance Estimate (SAHIE), in Central Florida (Orange, Brevard, Osceola, Flagler, Lake, Marion, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties), about 14.4 % were uninsured. ) 1 person. An analysis by the health care research group KFF found that about 19% of people in the “coverage gap” in the United States live in Florida, and 97% live in southern states.

Other states are filling coverage gaps by expanding Medicaid, a provision of the Affordable Care Act. This allows the state to provide Medicaid to all adults under the age of 65 whose income falls within his 138% of the federal poverty line. In states that have not adopted Medicaid expansion, the coverage gap burden is disproportionately borne by people of color.

Health Care for Homeless Floridians

Kseniya Cherepnina, Care Coordinator at the American Muslim Community Clinic, says working with homeless clients is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job.

“I’ve had a patient I’ve been seeing for almost a year, and we’ve become like friends,” she said. You found a new job! We celebrate with them.”

Many of those patients attend AMCC’s monthly downtown clinics. But caring for someone who doesn’t have a cell phone or who doesn’t have easy access to a computer can be difficult.

“It’s really hard to follow up with homeless people,” Cherepnina said. “We are working on it.”

Still, at a downtown clinic on Oct. 30, AMCC bandaged, performed basic screenings for things like high blood pressure, and referred patients to specialists who partnered with AMCC to provide a free service. We provided care to all who crossed the line.

clinic patchwork

AMCC isn’t the only healthcare provider trying to care for people across the gap in Central Florida. Spectrum News counted at least five mobile clinics that provide basic medical care to people who might otherwise not have access. One of these clinics, operated by the Seminole County Health Department, provides basic screening and referrals to people who otherwise can’t afford transportation and health checks.

Connie Thomas, the county’s longtime nurse, described the clinic as “a dream come true.”

“This acts as a screening and referral source for people who may have pre-diabetes or high blood pressure,” said Thomas. It’s like.”

Mobile clinics, such as AMCC and the Seminole County Clinic, prioritize rural and poor areas of the state.

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