According to a recent Gallup pole, more than 11 percent of Americans are without health insurance.
And for them, it can be harder to access affordable health care.
The new Bismarck location for Northland Health Centers is one of nine serving North Dakotans across the state.
The centers provide access to services such as primary care, dental, and mental health services to those in North Dakota communities with or without insurance.
So now, North Dakotans have another option when looking for affordable care.
“Providing care to those who are uninsured, or underserved, is also a big need,” Brittany Kudrna, Northland family nurse practitioner says.
Kudrna is one of three health care providers working from the Bismarck Northland Health Center and she says access to care shouldn’t stop with the insured.
“This is a great start to addressing some of the gaps in care in our area,” Kudrna says.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2015, 21 percent of North Dakota households making $25,000 a year or less did not have health insurance.
Patients who come to Northland can apply to pay a lower rate for care depending on their income.
“We do end up seeing more people who only seek services when it’s an emergency or urgent situation, it’s definitely important to have access and availability for preventative care,” Kudrna says.
Kudrna says cost can often be a barrier for patients seeking out preventative care but access to it is crucial to a person’s overall health.
But meeting patients’ physical needs isn’t the only gap in health care they are trying to fill.
“Having the ability to have access in the same facility, to facilitate care, and really coordinate it more quickly for our patients is really important,” Angie Abrams, professional clinical counselor says.
Abrams, a licensed counselor says mental health care can often come last.
“It’s hard to prioritize your mental health when there’s a cost incurred, it’s hard to consider it anything other than a luxury,” Abrams says.
But Abrams says she hopes having primary care and behavioral health all in one place will give more people access to overall health care.
“I think that people truly function best when both their physical and mental health are taken into consideration,” Abrams says.
“It’s important that everybody has equal access to quality care,” Kudrna says.
Kudrna says providing a place to receive care can be a first step to better overall health.
Northland Health Center in Bismarck currently has three health care providers on staff.
They are looking to serve 20 patients or more a day.