CHC 101

What is a Community Health Center?

Since 1965, community health centers have served millions of Americans in areas that are most medically underserved. Community health centers provide quality health care to anyone regardless of income or insurance status. Health centers are designed on a comprehensive service delivery model to assist those most impacted by health access barriers, including low income, uninsured, those with limited English-speaking proficiency, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, those experiencing homelessness, as well as those who live in public housing.

Community health centers are governed by a community board that is represented by a minimum of 51% patient consumers.

Today, over 1,200 health centers provide cost-efficient care to 20 million individuals nationwide.

The role the Siouxland Community Health Center plays in health care delivery has taken on an added focus as the country embarks on a new national strategy – commonly referred to as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

For scores of patients, SCHC has become the conduit by which they access the new national health care insurance marketplace.  With three Certified Application Counselors (CACs) on staff, the Community Health Center has the resources available to work with patients who need help in reviewing their options and help them through the process.

SCHC is also able to work with local non-profit and their clients as they navigate the insurance marketplace to determine what product best serves them and their family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are community health centers free clinics?

No. Patients receiving services at community health centers are expected to pay for a portion of their care, for example, co-pays associated with private insurance. A sliding fee program is available to uninsured patients and is based on household size and income according to federal poverty guidelines. Patients are responsible for the balance of their care after sliding fee discounts have been applied. Individuals and families with private insurance may also qualify for this program.

Can I come to a community health center if I have insurance?

Yes. Community health centers serve all regardless of payor source. Siouxland Community Health Center accepts most private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, IowaCare, hawk-i, and self-pay.

Are community health centers government agencies?

No. Federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs) and look-alike agencies are eligible to apply for federal funding to help offset operational costs. Siouxland Community Health Center is an FQHC that receives this funding support under 330(e) funding for the health center program. Siouxland Community Health Center is also a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.