The Health Reform Act recently funded a national program that will permit nursing, dental, medical students and professionals to have all of their federal loans forgiven in exchange for working full time or part time for at least two years at a rural, Indian, or other public clinic.
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) announced the application process this week for its loan repayment program which repays up to $60,000 for a two year commitment, up to $170,000 for up to a 5 year commitment, and all of the debt for over 6 years of service to underprivileged communities that do not have access to primary health care services.
According to Democratic Majority Whip James Clyburn, funding for the program includes $290 million from the Affordable Care Act.
“Many of our underserved communities do not have access to basic health care physicians who can diagnose and treat common ailments that prevent unnecessary trips to the emergency room and drive up health care costs,” Clyburn stated.
“I wholeheartedly believe that by helping students repay their loans and requiring a two-year commitment to serve in these communities, those most in need will get the care they deserve and our health care costs will decrease in the long-term,” he said.
Interested students and professionals can access the application at the NHSC website and select among a list of approved sites to work at across the country. When approved, applicants become a member of the Corps. About half of Corps members serve in federally-supported health centers. Other approved sites are rural and Indian Health Service clinics, public health department clinics, hospital-affiliated primary care practices, managed care networks, prisons, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sites.