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Who Are Our Patients and Where Do They Come From?

Though often invisible, there are an astounding 45 million uninsured people in the United States. In Connecticut alone, there are more than 325,000. Our patients represent a diverse population by ethnicity, income and education. The common thread is their lack of health insurance and their inability to access affordable health care. While 60% are employed (80% nationally), most hold jobs that pay minimum wage,  most work more than one part time job and all make less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Line.

The next time you go out to dinner, look at your hard-working waiter or waitress, or consider the 55-year-old neighbor who just lost his job, or the recently divorced mom of three next door, or the landscaping crew taking care of your lawn. You cannot go through a day without coming in contact with at least one uninsured person.

AmeriCares Free Clinics patients mirror the national picture of the uninsured. Most of them are working — most likely at low wages or part-time, for a small employer who doesn’t provide insurance. They are trying to take care of themselves and their families and have to make tough choices between health care, food and rent.

Being uninsured is costly and the stakes are high. It is no secret that the uninsured get too little too late and die at a younger age.  The financial and personal toll to them and their family is profound. But it doesn’t stop there. The uninsured are everyone's burden. We all pay more through higher health care costs, increased health insurance premiums and rising taxes.

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