Lack of health insurance changes the very meaning of wellness.
To address this growing problem, the Buncombe County Medical Society created Project Access in 1996. The award-winning, volunteer network offers free medical care to low-income, uninsured Buncombe County residents who don’t qualify for programs such as Medicaid. Participating physicians provide everything from routine annual physicals to open-heart surgery.
• When Project Access began, an estimated 15,000 Buncombe County residents were low-income and uninsured.
• By 2005, this number had swelled to an estimated 38,000.
• In 2011, that number stood at about 42,000.
• Patients served last year: 5,660.
• Estimated dollar value of that care: more than $14 million.
• Number of participating physicians: about 650.