Frequently Asked Questions

What is Toledo/Lucas County CareNet?

CareNet is a local non-profit partnership that strives to improve access to healthcare for low-income, uninsured residents of Lucas County. CareNet members receive healthcare through local primary care clinics, hospitals and other service agencies. Many area medical specialists also volunteer to see CareNet members. CareNet is not an insurance program. It neither guarantees free care nor care for every medical condition. There is no membership charge to belong to CareNet.

Who qualifies for CareNet?

Members must:

  • Be a Lucas County resident for at least six months.
  • Have a household income of 200% or less of Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Be unable to qualify for any government healthcare assistance (Medicare, Medicaid, veteran’s benefits, etc.).
  • Have no access to affordable healthcare benefits through employment.

Click here for more information about becoming a CareNet member.

Are members billed for services?

CareNet is not health insurance and does not pay for healthcare services. Primary care is provided free or on a sliding fee scale. Any service provided by an agency or individual that does not participate in the CareNet program will result in charges to the member. All specialty care services must be scheduled through the CareNet office or primary care site, not by the member; services scheduled by the member are subject to charges.

CareNet has agreements with Lucas County hospitals for many of their services:

  • Charges for emergency room care and daily room rates are waived.
  • Charges for hospital-based radiology, physical therapy and laboratory services are waived or capped depending on the member’s household income.
  • Charges for hospital-based specialty care clinics are waived or capped depending on the member’s household income.
  • As a rule, CareNet has no agreements with specialty physicians providing consults, test interpretations or other services during a hospital stay. As a result, CareNet members will likely be billed for these physicians services.

How do members receive outpatient specialty care?

A CareNet member’s primary care physician submits a specialty referral to CareNet’s office.

Due to a shortage of volunteer physicians, specialty consults are limited or sometimes unavailable. If unavailable, the CareNet member and primary care physician will discuss alternative options.

Do members have any pharmaceutical benefits?

– All CareNet members receive information about discount pharmacy cards, area generic programs (WalMart, Kroger, etc.) and pharmaceutical partnership assistance programs.
– Clinics associated with the Neighborhood Health Association and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department have low-cost pharmacy services for their patients only.

Do members have access to transportation?

– TARTA provides 16 one-way or 8 round-trips per year to and from medical appointments only.
– A valid CareNet card must be shown to the bus driver.
– For members unable to utilize TARTA, CareNet may be able to make other arrangements, such as TARPS.

CareNet Membership

– Members must re-enroll every year or as required by their primary care site.
– CareNet maintains a “three strikes and you’re out” policy.
– Failure to follow the guidelines set by CareNet may result in termination of the membership. Typical violations include:

  • Failure to show up for appointments as scheduled
  • Failure to follow physician recommendations/orders.
  • Failure to make payments when required.
  • Rude or threatening behavior toward staff.