Abbie is committed to increasing access to care as much and as often as possible. For clients who are unable or unwilling to use health insurance (regardless of reason), Abbie offers reduced fees whenever possible. They currently utilize the Green Jar Method, wherein clients paying in the top tiers support the ability to offer reduced fee spots in the lower tiers, with the middle tier representing the “actual cost” of the service.
In the past, when established clients experienced financial hardship, Abbie has offered more reduced fee, “low-bono”, and pro-bono services in order to ensure access to existing clients.
COVID-19 has been particularly difficult, in large part because trans and gender diverse individuals are already chronically under- and unemployed on average, often working in the fields of hospitality, retail, and other similar service industries. Nearly all of Abbie’s clients have been touched by COVID personally, whether by losing their job (or having hours cut), getting sick, or having a loved one affected. Not to mention, this is in addition to the cumulative impact of trauma and grief of an ongoing pandemic and a community for whom connection is essential to survival.
This has meant that in order to maintain continuity of care, to not add trauma by referring clients to a “more affordable” provider, and to lend whatever possible stability, Abbie expanded their reduced fees to existing clients well beyond their budgeted allotment. Meeting the needs of their clients has and will continue to be more important than money or profit. However, in Capitalism, we still have to find a way to “keep the lights on” in order to be able to provide these services.