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State's Uninsured Gets Financial Boost From BCBS Foundation

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina residents who do not have medical insurance will get a boost from the charitable foundation for BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina.

The state's largest health care insurance company wants to make sure uninsured people have a place to go in the future. The company donated $10 million from its foundation to help uninsured residents.

Wake County's Open Door Clinic served about 5,000 clients last year, but it turned away almost as many clients. The money is supposed to help uninsured residents like JoAnn Keith. She said without the services of the clinic, she is not sure if she would be alive today.

"When problems come upon a person and you don't know how to make them go away or fix them, you could very well think about ending your life," she said. "You could because you look around and there is nothing. You think there is nothing else to live for."

Officials said money, though, is just part of the remedy for health coverage.

"We really will depend on folks in underserved communities stepping up to the plate," said John Mills, of the N.C. Free Clinic Association.

The Open Door clinic is one of 57 statewide, providing free health care and other services. The goal is to double that number in the next five years, including five more free clinics in the Triangle.

Two million dollars of the $10 million is on its way to the North Carolina Free Clinic Assocation. Blue Cross said the $10 million will be provided over the next five years.


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