Health Care Programs Administered With Private Funds
A. ALABAMA CHILD CARING FOUNDATION
This nonprofit private Foundation was founded in 1988 to provide health insurance for children under 18 years of age who do not qualify for other insurance options. It is a partnership program between Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama and the Foundation. Barbara Hutchinson is the director. Every $240 from the Foundation pays for insurance for one child for one year with matching funds from BC/BS which covers another child’s insurance. No public funds are used. This is a program unique to Alabama. The Foundation coordinates with both Medicaid and ALL Kids using a common application. If a child does not qualify for a federal or state program the application is sent to the Foundation for assistance. Eligibility requires that parent’s annual income is equal to or less than 235% of the poverty level. All donated funds cover children in the local county.
As of 2009, 6,100 children are enrolled statewide with 2,600 on the waiting list (Nov. 2009). A family must reapply each year to see if their status has changed or they are eligible for another program. It is anticipated that even with health care reform, some children will need coverage.
The range of care provided includes primary and preventive services--periodic well-child physical examination, office visits for illness or injury, routine immunizations, emergency care, hospital outpatient care including surgery, diagnostic lab, X-ray, and vision service. It does not cover hospitalizations. The Foundation currently needs $1.8 million/year to maintain its current levels of enrollment.
Copies of their annual report are available if requested from the Foundation.
B. COMMUNITY CHARITY CLINICS
Most urban communities have one or more charity clinics which have been established by private efforts. Each program has its own guidelines. Most are run by volunteer health care professionals who give a few hours of their time each week. Some offer dental services.
Facts & Issues: Health Care in Alabama