What a difference a day makes.
Monday, all day and into the evening, we were busier than usual at the People’s Health & Wellness Clinic. In addition to taking care of our patients, we were swamped with a last-minute influx of people rushing to meet the deadline for signing up for health insurance through Vermont Health Connect. We had six Navigators assisting and took care of everyone.
However, Tuesday morning, a woman walked in during our morning clinic and asked for assistance in signing up. After asking some income-qualifying questions, we had to tell her that she had missed the deadline, and will not be able to get coverage until 2015.
She was stunned. What was she going to do? Luckily, we were able to tell her she could receive primary and preventive care right here at the People’s Health & Wellness Clinic.
For the past 20 years, we have been here for the uninsured and underinsured of central Vermont. We served people from 49 towns in 2013, and in March the voters of every Washington County town, plus Orange, Washington, and Williamstown again voted to help fund PHWC. We thank them for the support, which helps ensure we can continue to be here to meet the needs of people who cannot otherwise afford these services.
With all the heavy media coverage about Vermont Health Connect and the federal Affordable Care Act, it’s hard for some to believe that we still need free clinics. But we do.
The fact is, not everyone was eligible for health insurance coverage; not everyone could afford it; and not everything is covered.
That’s why we’re here. If you are still without health insurance, we can take care of you. Call 479-1229 for an appointment. We provide primary and preventive care, including mental health, body work, immunizations, prescriptions, and much more. We want to keep you healthy, and out of the emergency room, where the cost of care is highest, and is often shifted to those who pay for insurance.
If you believe our mission is important, we need your financial support. Make a donation through our website at phwcvt.org, or mail it to PHWC, 553 North Main Street, Barre, VT 05641.
Peter Youngbaer, Executive Director
People’s Health & Wellness Clinic