By TODD RICHMOND, The Associated Press
Wisconsin state flag (file photo)
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - People from across Wisconsin and beyond will get a chance to see a health care provider and obtain prescription drugs for free at a one-day clinic in Madison this weekend.The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics plans to hold a clinic from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Alliant Energy Center. Organization director Nicole Lamoureux said about 210 providers - including doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, lab technicians and pharmacists from around the state - have volunteered to staff the event.Attendees will get a free visit with a provider, as well as an exam and a free 90-day prescription for any drugs they may need courtesy of Rx Outreach, a mail-order pharmacy that provides medication to uninsured and underinsured people. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Madison also will offer a free 30-day supply of prescription drugs through its charitable pharmacy, Lamoureux said.People also will get an opportunity to ask navigators questions about the intricacies of the Affordable Care Act."Madison is the capital (city)," she said. "There's no better place to tell the story of who's going to be left behind than the capital."People don't need to bring any documentation or identification, though they should have a copy of their current prescription or their pill bottles so providers can see what medication they're currently using.No appointments are required for the clinic, though organizers are urging people to set one up. Lamoureux said about 250 people have made appointments so far, including seven from Chicago and four from Minnesota.The Alexandria, Virginia-based NAFCC has put on 13 similar free clinics around the country since 2009.Wisconsin has a relatively low number of residents who lack health insurance - 321,000 people were uninsured in 2012, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Health Services' Wisconsin Family Health Survey, a sliver of the state's 5.7 million people - but Lamoureux said it still makes sense to hold a clinic here.Many people who are insured still can't afford their co-payments, deductibles or prescriptions, she said. The event will draw attention to their plight as well as to the 50 or so free clinics around the state, she said.___Clinic appointment line: 800-340-1301
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