Appalachian Highlands Care Network

Connect with free or low-cost clinics, dental services, financial counseling, preventative care and more

Ballad Health provides free care to individuals and families with incomes less than 225% of the federal poverty guidelines and limited assets – which means up to half of all individuals in the Appalachian Highlands are eligible for free care. Discounted care is provided on a sliding scale up to 450% of the federal poverty guidelines.

The Appalachian Highlands Care Network (AHCN) connects thousands of uninsured patients and their families with free or low-cost healthcare and community and financial services and assistance programs. Eligible patients are connected with Ballad Health and community primary care physicians, specialists, care navigators and case managers to help manage a full array of chronic diseases and conditions.

AHCN partners with a variety of local organizations, outpatient clinics and hospitals that are working together to deliver a better, more supportive system of care for those who need it the most. Ballad Health is proud that since 2018, working with physicians and community organizations, preventable hospitalizations have declined by almost 50% in the region.

Apply now

How to find free or low-cost public assistance programs near you

We know that finding free or low-cost health and social services can be difficult. Our team is ready to assist you and your family in finding the help that will match your condition or specific need.

Please contact our organization if you have no insurance and are looking for access to free health clinics, behavioral health services, financial assistance and more.

  • Low-cost vision, dental, hearing and women's services – including access to free dental and women's clinics
  • Preventative screenings to help you maintain your health
  • Help finding employment to get you back on your feet
  • Family and community support, like group counseling, children's therapy and early childhood assistance
  • Mental health services for those living with social isolation, substance abuse, depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Financial counseling for individuals who need help with budget planning, debt, credit reports, taxes and more
  • Assistance with medication to ensure you have the prescriptions you need
  • Housing, utility assistance and home repairs to keep you and your family safe
  • Transportation assistance for those who don't have access to a vehicle
  • Help fighting food insecurity, so you always have what you need to thrive

We will always work to refer you to the organization or clinic that best fits your needs. Many of our community programs are available at no cost or limited fees.

Access to a primary care provider

AHCN works with a network of primary care doctors who are accepting new patients at little to no cost.

Having a primary care doctor that understands your health and needs is essential – and we want to connect you with the right doctor as soon as possible. Your primary care physician will help you manage your health through general checkups, sick visits and regular testing.

Learn more about the services primary care providers offer.

Care managers and community health workers

AHCN also offers care managers or community health workers to individuals with complex needs, such as a serious condition or social need.

If you're living with a chronic medical issue, a care manager can help you learn more about your condition and connect you with the right resources.

Our community health workers understand our region and work closely with local organizations. They can help you connect with employment services, mental health programs, financial advisors and more.

No cost specialty care

If you have an urgent or emergent medical need that requires specialty care, we can help you schedule an appointment with a provider at no cost.

AHCN partners with Project Access, a non-profit organization that screens and coordinates care for patients in the region. Project Access strives to provide specialty care services – such as treatment for auto-immune issues, interventional cardiology and orthopedics – for little to no cost

Program eligibility

We are currently accepting applications and referrals for our services. To be eligible, you must:

  1. Be a Northeast Tennessee or Southwest Virginia resident living in our 21-county service area:
    • Carter County, TN
    • Cocke County, TN
    • Greene County, TN
    • Hamblen County, TN
    • Hancock County, TN
    • Hawkins County, TN
    • Johnson County, TN
    • Sullivan County, TN
    • Unicoi County, TN
    • Washington County, TN
    • Buchanan County, VA
    • Dickenson County, VA
    • Grayson County, VA
    • Lee County, VA
    • Russell County, VA
    • Scott County, VA
    • Smyth County, VA
    • Tazewell County, VA
    • Washington County, VA
    • Wise County, VA
    • Wythe County, VA
  2. Have an income at or below 225% of the federal poverty level
    • A family of four making less than $59,000 a year
    • A couple who lives on less than $3,000 a month
    • An individual making less than $1,000 per a two-week pay period
  3. Have no access to insurance

Please note that assistance programs and services are not limited to what is listed on this page. If you have a social or medical need, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Am I eligible if I'm currently receiving Medicare, Medicaid or Tenncare?

No, currently our services are only available for self-pay patients with no access to insurance.

What to expect

Once you've submitted your application, one of our community navigators will contact you to do an initial assessment to learn about your situation.

Your community navigator will assist you in finding the resources that match your unique needs.

Can I receive help for a past bill?

No, the AHCN cannot help with previous bills. AHCN benefits local patients and individuals by coordinating upcoming appointments with participating providers and organizations.

If you are seeking assistance with a previous visit, please visit our financial assistance page.

Apply for help now

We're here to help. If you're struggling without insurance, please don't wait to reach out us for assistance. Fill out this form, and our team will get back to you soon.




For additional assistance, you can email one of our care navigators at Please give us your full name, phone number and the best time for us to contact you and we'll reach out as soon as possible.