What is a free clinic?

Free Clinics are safety-net health care organizations that utilize a volunteer/staff model to provide a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and/or behavioral health services to economically disadvantaged individuals. Such clinics are 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, or operate as a program component or affiliate of a 501(c)(3) organization.

Entities that otherwise meet the above definition, but charge a nominal/sliding fee to patients, or bill third party insurers such as Medicaid are considered a charitable clinic and provide essential services regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.

Free or charitable clinics restrict eligibility for their services to individuals who are uninsured, underinsured and/or have limited or no access to primary, specialty or prescription health care.