All 3,500 residents in Ferris will get free basic health services when a new program goes into place within the next six months.
“I work for a very small insurance, and so they don't offer health care. My husband is self-employed and so when our kids get sick, or you know we get sick, it costs us hundreds of dollars to go to the Doctor,” said Ferris Resident Tiffany Rogers.
This plan is welcome news to Tiffany Rogers and other residents.
“A lot of times we let a small cold just linger, and we try home remedies and we try over the counters, and we end up with complications from it because we don't have that access. We don't have medical care, or maybe it’s too expensive,” said Ferris resident Berenice Gamaz.
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But now city leaders have a new plan after seeing the need for the last few years.
“It really came to light during Covid-19 when our folks didn't have access to simple testing and treatment,” said Ferris City Manager Brooks Williams.
City Council voted in favor of the program Access for All. The city received $700,000 from the American Rescue Plan and decided to use it to provide free health care. The program is called Access for All.
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“We have about 40 percent of our population that is uninsured or underinsured, but we wanted a solution that covered everybody,” added Williams.
Ferris City Manager Brooks Williams says they have partnered up with MD Health Pathways to administer services. It is as simple as going on the APP for a virtual appointment, then deciding what is next. There is also a mobile unit that will be in the community.
“I strongly feel as an emergency physician that our country has suffered from a lack of access to health care,” said Dr. Dirk Perritt, President of MD Pathways.
The plan should be up and running in the next six months.
“I would just say for other cities to take note, maybe try to follow suit if possible,” added Tiffany Rogers.
The App is not available yet, but city leaders will alert residents by social media, and their water bills.
The city manager thinks the American rescue plan dollars should last two years, but city leaders are already looking for grants to keep this going.