Sick and without health insurance.
So many in the bay area are faced with that dilemma, but there may be some relief coming to patients in Polk County.
Central Florida Health Care opened a new clinic in Haines City due to growing demand for services that cater to uninsured or underinsured patients.
“I started out in a new position but I just haven’t had my insurance yet,” said Lakeisha Brown of Davenport.
Stuck between jobs, Brown is part of a growing number of people in Polk County without insurance to lean on.
That population is ballooning so much in recent years, Central Florida Health Care decided it was time to open up shop.
On Monday, day one, there was already nine patients on the schedule to see Dr. Beatrice Celian.
“Anyone can come here, but our main purpose is to serve the people who don’t have any form of insurance,” Celian said.
Patients here will pay on a sliding scale based on income and family size.
So for instance, that sore throat that cost you more than 100 dollars at a typical walk-in, may cost as little as 25 dollars at this clinic.
“They don’t have any means of accessing health care, so this solves that problem,” Dr. Celian said.
These clinics are scarred around the state and are becoming more and more popular as people drop insurance because of sky-rocketing premiums.
“More people than ever before, because the word is getting out. The word is actually getting out,” said Ruby Bernard, Administrator for the clinic.
An added benefit: it’s taking some of the strain off emergency rooms that never turn anyone away.
Within a few months, Central Florida Health Care plans to expand to all the offices in their new downtown Haines City building.