Connecting a Young, Working Vermonter with Medications and Health Insurance

Member clinics of Vermont’s Free and Referral Clinics (VFRC) help Vermonters of all ages and income levels access high-quality care, no matter whether they are uninsured, underinsured, or simply having difficulties wending their way through the intricacies of the healthcare system.

Windsor Community Health Clinic at Mt. Ascutney Hospital

Windsor, Vermont

John*, a 22-year-old man with a full-time job, showed up at the Mt. Ascutney Hospital Emergency Room one day last April, seeking immediate medical assistance. His employer did not provide health insurance as a benefit and, as a consequence, John was uninsured. Nonetheless, he needed medical attention – and, more immediately and importantly, medications he could not afford. Without being able to purchase those medications, John would have to be admitted to the hospital as an inpatient in order to receive the necessary care.

That’s when Samantha Ball – the coordinator of the Windsor Community Health Clinic (WCHC) – stepped into the situation at the request of a Mt. Ascutney Emergency Room nurse.

“I went down to the ER and met with the patient to screen him and determined that he was outside of the financial limit for Medicaid,” explained Samantha. “And because this was April, he was also outside of the open enrollment period for obtaining insurance through the health exchange.” This is a common predicament that is encountered regularly as free clinic leaders seek to provide timely referral and counseling services to patients in need.

“WCHC was able to purchase the medications John needed through a grant, and we also set him up with free medications through a pharmaceutical company,” Samantha added. “In addition, we scheduled John for an appointment during the open enrollment period in November so that we could review insurance options with him.”

Back on the road to wellness, John made it to that November appointment with WCHC. He enrolled in an MVP healthcare plan for 2020 and can now afford the medications he needs to continue his care.

*The patient’s name has been changed to respect privacy, protect identity, and assure confidentiality.