About the Cause
Who are your patients?
Most of our patients work, but they don't receive employer-sponsored health insurance and make too much money for Medicaid. We have patients with very little education and patients with advanced degrees.
Who are your providers?
All of our providers, reception and discharge staff are volunteers. It isn't possible to come to the Ithaca Free Clinic or access any of our programs without interacting with a volunteer. We have over 100 volunteers and only 4 paid staff (2 part time). Many of our volunteers were drawn to offer their time and talents to the Health Alliance because of their own experiences with the challenges of obtaining affordable care for themselves or a family member.
Isn't the Free Clinic going to become obsolete soon? Won't everyone have access to affordable health care with the Affordable Care Act?
The ACA will still leave millions of Americans uninsured. Our most common demographic, working people whose income is over 133% of the poverty level, who are not eligible for Medicaid, will be be hard pressed to afford to purchase health insurance, even with the subsidies available, without cutting into their budgeted expenses for rent, utilities, food and transportation. In addition, many of the holistic and therapeutic services we offer are not covered by insurance, and there are other services, such as dental care, that we have not yet addressed. The Ithaca Health Alliance always strives to find and fill the gaps in access to care.
How do I volunteer?
Fill out a volunteer application at www.ithacahealth.org/ally or contact us if you'd like to receive an application by email or US mail.
Is the Ithaca Free Clinic supported by government funding or insurance billing?
As a Free Clinic, we must provide totally free services, and since we serve people who don't have insurance, we do not bill insurance. We do receive some funding from Tompkins County/City of Ithaca and periodically from the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency, which covers about 20% of our current budget. Our expenses have been reduced thanks to the FTCA Free Clinics program through the US Department of Health and Human Services, which provides free malpractice coverage for our licensed medical providers and social workers. We regularly apply to local, state and national foundations for grants. However, our first and most steadfast source of funding has always been donations from community members just like you!
About the ITHACA HEALTH ALLIANCE
The Ithaca Health Alliance was founded in 1997. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, our mission is to facilitate access to health care for all, with a focus on the needs of the uninsured.
Since our founding, we have used the contributions of our community to create a sustainable model of community-oriented, community-driven solutions to the ongoing healthcare crisis. Today, we have three primary programs: the Ithaca Free Clinic, the Ithaca Health Fund, and Health Education.
Visit our website to learn more about the Ithaca Health Alliance.
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