All 3,500 Ferris residents will receive free basic healthcare services when a new program is introduced within the next six months.
“I work for a very small insurance company, so they don’t offer health care. My husband is self-employed, and if our kids get sick or you know we’re going to get sick, it costs us hundreds of dollars to go to the doctor,” said Tiffany Rogers of Ferris.
This plan is welcome news for Tiffany Rogers and other residents.
“Often we just let a little cold hang around and try home remedies and over-the-counter remedies and end up having complications because we don’t have that access. We don’t have medical supplies, or maybe it’s too expensive,” said Berenice Gamaz, who lives in Ferris.
But now city leaders have a new plan, having seen the need for the past few years.
“During Covid-19, it really came to light when our people didn’t have access to basic testing and treatment,” Ferris City manager Brooks Williams said.
The City Council has approved the Access for All programme. 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.
“We have about 40 percent of our population that is uninsured or underinsured, but we wanted a solution that covered everyone,” Williams added.
Ferris City Manager Brooks Williams says they have partnered with MD Health Pathways to manage services. It’s as easy as scheduling a virtual date in the APP and then deciding what’s next. There is also a mobile unit that will be in the community.
“As an emergency physician, I firmly believe that our country suffers from a lack of access to healthcare,” said Dr. Dirk Perritt, President of MD Pathways.
The plan is expected to be implemented over the next six months.
“I would just say that other cities are taking note and trying to follow suit if possible,” added Tiffany Rogers.
The app isn’t available yet, but city guides will notify residents via social media and their water bills.
The city manager believes the US dollars for the bailout plan should last two years, but the city government is already seeking grants to keep it going.