People on low incomes turn to community clinics for ACA advice - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

People on low incomes turn to community clinics for ACA advice

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FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

As Monday's deadline for health care sign-ups neared, people denied incentives wondered about what to do and where to turn.

People who use clinics such as Shoals Community Clinic find themselves in a similar situation. They do not make enough money to qualify for the tax breaks in the Affordable Care Act, but they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

Bonita McCay said a lot of people are left in limbo, and that's where community clinics come into play. McCay said according to the act, if you do not qualify for the assistance from either the ACA or Medicaid, you will not have to pay a penalty.

She said clinics such as hers will still be available as low-cost primary care facilities, but they are not able to offer specialized care, which is a growing need. McCay said an estimated 400,000 people in Alabama fall into that category.

"This is a group of people that was supposed to be covered under Medicaid expansion and the Supreme Court case determined that the states could opt out of Medicaid expansion. 24 states did do that; Alabama is one of those states," she said.

Facilities like McCay's and the United Way's 211 service can help people find care who cannot afford it. "This is one place where people can come that don't have health insurance and they need primary care. They can come here and see our nurse practitioners. They have been running this clinic for almost 17 years and they run under a medical director," she said.

McCay suggests that everyone attempts to apply for affordable health care no matter what their annual income may be.

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