Direct Relief’s assistance programs within the U.S., funded entirely with private charitable support, have expanded significantly in recent years to help meet the needs of people who would otherwise not have access to health care.
Since 2009, Direct Relief has been the sole U.S. nonprofit organization accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as a Verified-Accredited Wholelsale Distributor (VAWD) and the only nonprofit licensed to distribute prescription medications in all 50 states.
Direct Relief’s charitable medicines program is now the largest of its kind in the country, working with a growing network of more than 1,200 nonprofit health centers and free/charitable clinics across the U.S. that provide care for approximately 10 million people, the majority of whom are low-income and have traditionally lacked health insurance. These facilities serve as a safety net for people who would otherwise fall through the gaps.
Among the many questions presented by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is whether and how it will affect the need for private charitable efforts, like those of Direct Relief, within the U.S. A recent RAND Corporation study illuminates the gaps that will exist for the projected 30 million people “left behind” by the ACA.
Read the report: “Who Does the Affordable Care Act Leave Behind?”
Key findings from the RAND study:
- The Congressional Budget Office projects that 30 million residents will remain uninsured after the major provisions of the ACA take full effect.
- A substantial percentage of those remaining uninsured will not have access to public assistance, meaning state Medicaid programs or tax credits to purchase private coverage on the health insurance exchanges.
- Those most at-risk for having no access to more affordable health insurance after the ACA takes full effect include low-income adults in states that do not expand their Medicaid programs, and low to moderate income individuals with relatively expensive employer offers.