Examining the Health Care Safety Net: Free Clinics
In addition to Medicaid and WVCHIP, which are health
coverage programs that reimburse providers for services
received by Medicaid and WVCHIP beneficiaries, West Virginia
has a number of other programs or "safety-nets" for people
who are uninsured or underinsured. One of these safety net
programs is the state’s network of free clinics. As the name
indicates, services are provided free of charge for
low-income people without health care coverage. Last year
75,000 West Virginians received services through the free
The type of services that free clinics offer varies from
site to site but all of them provide primary care services
and free prescription drugs. West Virginia’s largest free
clinic is Health Right located in Charleston. Health Right
provides primary care, prescription drugs, dental services,
specialty care and health and wellness programs for about
17,000 people from central West Virginia.
Most of the free clinics are located in the more urban areas
of West Virginia including Charleston, Weirton, Morgantown,
Huntington, Clarksburg and Wheeling. To find the location of
a free clinic, the office hours and services available check
the web at
Seniors on Medicare without prescription drug benefits can
get help through a free clinic in their area.
For more information on free or low cost health care
services, read the newsletter in the coming months.
WV CHIP RENEWAL FORM - NOW EASY TO SPOT!
After November 1, 2020, WV CHIP families receiving their WV
CHIP Renewal application will be mailed a renewal form that
will be printed on tan paper.
Since RAPIDS began sending out the revised joint application
last spring, both outreach staff, DHHR Change Centers and
some DHHR local offices commented that it would be helpful
if forms were noticeable or marked renewal.
Starting in November, renewal forms will be on tan paper.
The CHIP office hopes this will make it easier for both the
customer and local office staff to identify.
The CHIP office would like to thank everyone for their
cooperation and the hard work they have provided in the
outreach of WV CHIP.
WV Health Centers to Participate in 340b
Prescription Drug Program
The WV Primary Care Association (WVPCA) and its member
health centers are pleased to announce a new initiative,
called the 340b Prescription Drug Program, which is designed
to provide reduced cost prescription assistance to uninsured
West Virginians. Here’s how it works:
1. Federally Qualified Health Centers, Disproportionate
Share Hospitals, family planning clinics, and other entities
are eligible to purchase prescription drugs at a federally
mandated ceiling price.
2. These entities can then appropriately dispense the
prescriptions to their patients at a significantly reduced
cost, either through an in-house pharmacy or through a
contract with a local private pharmacy.
The goal of the WVPCA and its member health centers is to
implement a 340b drug program in all 33 Federally Qualified
Health Center corporate sites in the state by December 31,
2004. When coupled with health center indigent drug
programs, this new initiative should provide statewide
access to free or low-cost prescription drugs to all
uninsured residents of West Virginia; making WV the first
state in the nation to offer prescription assistance
The WVPCA expects that it will rely heavily on the positive
experiences of its member health centers already
participating in the 340b Prescription Drug Program such as
Cabin Creek Health Center, New River Health Association,
Valley Health System, Pendleton Community Care, and
Shenandoah Valley Medical Systems. To learn more about the
340b drug program or to find a health center near you,
please visit our website at
New Medicaid HMO in West Virginia
Unicare Health Plan of WV has joined Carelink and The Health
Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley to provide HMO coverage for
Medicaid members across the state. Service area expansion
will continue, county-by-county, which will bring managed
health care to enrollees living in both urban and rural
counties. HMOs offer special programs to members including,
but not limited to, education, case management and disease
management services. Beginning in November, Medicaid members
will be able to choose between Unicare and Carelink in
Kanawha, Boone, and Clay Counties. The DHHR anticipates that
some Medicaid members will be transitioning to Unicare in
Nicholas and Mercer Counties in December.
Wal-Mart offers "Project Insight"
During the month of November, Wal-Mart stores with a vision
center will be sponsoring a program called "Project
Insight". This program is being offered to children up to
the age of
18 years old with NO insurance.
Wal-Mart will provide the eye exam for FREE
and will also pay for frames and lenses. This
program is open to all children. The child must be seen in
the month of November to take advantage of
this program. Some limitations apply. Please contact your
local Wal-Mart for more information.
Unraveling Women’s Health in WV-4th Annual Policy Conference
The fourth annual Women’s Health Policy Conference is
excited to be offering health care professionals and
advocates the opportunity to improve the quality of health
care in West Virginia. We will be looking in-depth at three
health issues— Domestic Violence, Depression and Heart
Please make plans to attend the reception on Tuesday to
raise funds for the WV Women’s Health Center. The Women’s
Health Center of West Virginia has provided affordable,
high-quality reproductive health services since 1976. WHC is
committed to reproductive choice and to provision of
accessible health care that respects the dignity,
confidentiality and personal values of women.
The Agenda for this two-day event is as follows:
Tuesday, Dec. 02, 2003
Registration Embassy Suites
Welcome, Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (invited) and
Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, Conference Chair
Strategies for Implementing Policy, Barbara Gault,
Director of Research, Institute for Women’s Policy.
10:30-11:45 GUNS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
1:00-1:50 SOCIAL POLICIES IMPACTING WOMEN AND FAMILIES
2:00 – 3:15 SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND DEPRESSION
3:30 – 4:45 TOBACCO AND HEART DISEASE
5:00 - 7:00 RECEPTION / FUNDRAISER FOR WOMEN’S HEALTH CENTER
Wednesday, Dec. 03, 2003
9:00-10:00 POLICY APPROACHES
Thinking Out of the Box: Effective Use of the Courts to
Enforce Public Policy, Attorney General Darrell V. McGraw,
10:00-12:00 POLICY DISCUSSION FORUMS
1:15-2:15 LEGISLATIVE ROUND TABLE
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION DEADLINE NOVEMBER 20!
To attend, or for more information, please call
100 Capitol Street, Suite 1009
Charleston, WV 25301
Mark Your Calendars for These Important Dates!
December 2-3, 2003
The Fourth Annual West Virginia Women’s Health Policy
Conference at Embassy Suites in Charleston. If your are
interested in attending you may call 304-346-0300 for more
February 17, 2020
A Policy Forum on Children’s Issues will be held on February
17, 2004. Look for more details regarding this forum in
future issues of the WVHKFC newsletter.
February 18, 2020
We invite you to join child advocates from around the state
at the West Virginia State Capitol to rally, advocate, and
problem-solve on behalf of all of West Virginia’s children!
Children’s Day at the Legislature will be held on February
18, 2004. For more information, please contact the Coalition
for West Virginia’s Children at (304) 342-6972 or visit