I thought "Obamacare" means everyone has health insurance. Why do we need BVMI?

Bergen County needs BVMI because 47,000 adult residents do not have health insurance!


Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI) provides FREE healthcare to low-income, working Bergen County residents who do not have health insurance.

BVMI is one of 96 Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) clinics located throughout the country; there are another 1,100 free and charitable clinics in addition to those in the VIM network.


One of the most common misconceptions about how the United States will look after the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that there will no longer be a need for BVMI and other free clinics to continue to provide charity care as a member of the safety net.

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that, as of 2015, 32 million people in the United States remain uninsured.  In New Jersey, 940,000 people remain uninsured, including 47,000 residents of Bergen County.

47,000 adult
Bergen County residents have no health insurance.



BVMI receives no government funding, no reimbursement from insurance companies and no payment from patients.  We are not a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHCs receive state and federal funding to operate).

BVMI, and other free and charitable clinics, rely on the generosity of individual donors, foundations and grants as funding sources.  Without our donors, we would not exist.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is just a first step to providing coverage to more people in our country, it is NOT a:

  • Universal health care system

  • A Public Option system

  • A Single Payer system

  • A Medicare For All system

BVMI, and other Free and Charitable Clinics, will remain an important part of the country’s safety net, even after full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.



Doing the Job She Loves...and Staying Healthy

Working as a school bus driver brings Annabelle so much joy. When she first started out years ago, she didn’t mind that she didn’t have health insurance through her job – at the time, she was healthy. However, as Annabelle got older, she developed Type II Diabetes and started needing consistent care. 

In her eyes, when ObamaCare first came out, it was a blessing. She could afford the premiums and the co-pays but as costs quickly began rise, Annabelle was overwhelmed. She didn’t have $300 a month to pay the premiums, let alone throwing another $90 on top of that for co-pays. Friends and family kept telling her to find a job that provided healthcare but Annabelle didn’t want to leave the kids she has grown to love – she is passionate about her work and couldn’t stand the thought of not liking to go to work every day.


She started to do some research and that was when she found BVMI. “Here was a place that takes care of me for free so that I can go to the job that I love so dearly – it almost seemed too good to be true! And then, when I came here, and saw how nice everyone is, I was floored.  Coming to BVMI feels like a dream.”


Prior to coming to BVMI, Annabelle was feeling overwhelmed and stressed – she was not feeling healthy and it was exhausting. However, since coming to BVMI, Annabelle is back to laughing, smiling, and feeling good again.


“It eases my mind knowing that BVMI is here – not only medically but also emotionally. Everyone has been so patient and kind and nice. BVMI is a godsend… You’re all perfect, perfect, perfect!”