Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Volume 23, Number 1, February 2012
pp. 327-338 | 10.1353/hpu.2012.0025
This commentary examines Genesee County (Flint) Michigan to explore whether a well-structured safety net system is able to provide low-income uninsured people adequate access to care at a reasonable cost. Genessee County is one of the more economically challenged communities in the country. This commentary explores the cost and adequacy of safety net care in Genessee County under the Genessee Health Plan (GHP). The analysis compares the cost of services under GHP to the cost of the same services offered by local private insurers and Medicaid. An analysis found that GHP, Flint-area physicians, hospitals, and foundations have succeeded in providing basic medical care access to a substantial majority of their low-income uninsured citizens. The costs of care, both paid by GHP and donated by local providers, are substantially less than the estimated costs if this population were covered by full Medicaid or private insurance.