Help for the uninsured

This week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is sponsoring Cover the Uninsured Week, a program launched in 2003 to raise awareness of the plight of the 47 million Americans who lack health insurance.

The foundation's web site is packed with helpful information and resources, as well as moving personal stories and facts and figures documenting the problem. Perhaps most helpful are the state profiles with specifics on eligibility and coverage information, and state-by-state guides on how to find low-cost and free health insurance programs. The site also links to events happening across the country to provide health education and to sign up families for health insurance. For example, ten health fairs are being held in California this week and weekend by various community organizations. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also sponsors back to school week in August to help uninsured school children enroll in health plans.

Here in Connecticut, I read about the campaign in a local paper, which mentioned that Americares runs three free clinics in the state, in Bridgeport, Danbury and Norwalk. To find out if you're eligible, visit the Americares free clinics website. The Stamford-based charity opened its first free U.S. clinic in 1994 to serve the medical needs of the working poor, although it is better known for its international relief work.