New 'HelpCare' Clinic to Provide Healthcare to Low-Income Individuals


A community organization takes a big step to fill the insurance gap by helping provide healthcare to those with little access to health insurance.

Buffalo County Community Partners is launching a new clinic called HelpCare, which will serve low income individuals in Kearney and Buffalo County.

The clinic came about after a grant through Catholic Health Initiatives provided funding for community health workers to assist in any type of need for 250 diabetes patients, like navigating insurance. Officials say the numbers were staggering.

"We had about 79 apply for federal assistance, so that's Medicaid, Medicare, disability," said BCCP data planner Ariane Aten. "And only 14 of them received any assistance, whether just some qualifications, things like that, so you can see there's a need for these people."

"Often folks without insurance have run up large bills so they are hesitant to go to doctor when they need to," said HelpCare Clinic's Linda Muhlbach. "So often emergency room becomes primary care, that's very expensive care not meeting needs."

The clinic is in the planning stages right now, but officials hope to have the it up and running by the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015.