What is a Free or Charitable Clinic?

Free and charitable 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, may still be considered free or charitable clinics provided essential services are delivered 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.