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MSU's clinic for the uninsured is opening its doors to more patients. Here's why.

Missouri State University
The MSU Care Clinic is a joint venture between the university and Mercy health system.

A medical clinic in Springfield that provides free health care can now serve a broader demographic of patients. The MSU Care Clinic announced last week it was significantly bumping up its income threshold. That means many people who previously made too much money to be eligible may now be able to seek care there.

Previously, people had to earn at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level to receive care at the clinic. It has now expanded to 200 percent.

"So, for example, a single individual could have a monthly income of $2,265 or below, and they would be eligible for our services. A family of four could have a monthly income of $4,625 or below and be eligible for our services," said Letitia White-Minnis, the associate dean of the McQueary College of Health and Human Services at Missouri State University.

Decreased patient numbers

White-Minnis said the clinic believes it can accommodate a surge in new patients because their patient numbers have dropped significantly.

"With the expansion of Medicaid in the state, some of the patients that we saw previously became eligible for Medicaid. And because we only serve patients who are uninsured, it decreased our patient volume. So, that was a factor," she said.

White-Minnis declined to provide numbers on the decrease in patients, but described it as "significant."

She said the clinic relies on a steady stream of patients, because it's part of health care instruction at Missouri State University.

"We are a teaching clinic. So, this benefits MSU tremendously and students here in the McQueary College of Health and Human Services, because they get direct care experience with patients," said White-Minnis.

About MSU Care

The clinic only serves people without health insurance. Here are some services they offer:

  • Primary care
  • Basic lab and X-ray
  • Diabetes
  • Mental health counseling
  • Nutrition counseling

A full list of services and other patient eligibility requirements can be found on their website or 417-837-2270.

KSMU is part of Missouri State University, but reports with editorial independence.