DARLINGTON, S.C. – The Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County has announced new expanded eligibility criteria to better serve the more than 6,000 Darlington County adults who are uninsured.
As of April 1, the clinic expanded its income eligibility limits from 200 percent above the federal poverty level (FPL) up to 300 percent above the FPL. The clinic also has reduced the number of required documents a potential patient must provide.
To be eligible to receive the services provided by the clinic and its volunteer physician providers, a person must be (1) a Darlington County resident, (2) uninsured, (3) ages 19 to 64, (4) working, disabled, a primary caregiver or searching for work.
Documents that must be provided are a current South Carolina driver’s license or state ID, proof of county residence, Social Security card, one month of pay stubs, SS/SSI benefit statement and Medicaid denial letter (if applicable).
As part of this eligibility expansion, the clinic has created a sliding scale for eligibility. The current FPL for a single individual is $12,490. Therefore, an individual with an annual income of up to $24,980 is eligible for free primary care, free prescription medications and free labs and X-rays.
The clinic also offers substantial financial assistance to patients in this category who must be referred to outside facilities or specialty providers.
“In these cases, the clinic cannot guarantee complete financial coverage but works hard on our patients’ behalf to negotiate the best possible co-pays with these providers,” said Stephen Edwards, executive director of the clinic.
Most specialist providers in Darlington County and many in Florence have agreed to accept the clinic’s referral patients at substantially reduced rates. These partners include McLeod Darlington, McLeod Regional Medical Center and Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center.
With the expansion, patients whose income falls between 200 percent of FPL and 300% FPL are now eligible for care through the clinic. Patients whose income falls in this range are still eligible for free primary care, free medications if they can be filled at our in-house pharmacy, and free or reduced-cost labs and X-rays at our referral partners.
Prescriptions that cannot be filled in-house and must be sent to a local pharmacy will require a small co-pay by the patient. Patients in this category who require outside specialty services will also incur a co-pay of up to 20 percent of the negotiated rate between the clinic and outside provider. The chart below outlines the cost breakdown based on income level.
The Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving Darlington County residents who are uninsured. The clinic operates offices in Darlington at 203 Grove St. and in Hartsville at 500 W. Carolina Ave. The Darlington office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 7p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, with clinic hours from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday. The Hartsville office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday with clinic from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Volunteer physicians, physician assistants, family nurse practitioners and specialists provide services annually to hundreds of county residents, and specialty referrals are provided by specialists throughout Darlington County and Florence County.
The clinic is supported by generous individual benefactors, churches, local businesses, local foundations and grants.
For more information, to volunteer or to contribute to supporting those who need clinic services, contact The Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County at 843-398-0060, 843-332-0422 or, at email@example.com.