Eligibility criteria changes for Cooper Green will help more in need

New eligibility requirements will help more Jefferson County residents seek care at Cooper Green.
Written by: Savannah Koplon
Media contact: Hannah Echols

Stream Cooper GreenNew eligibility requirements will help more Jefferson County residents seek care at Cooper Green. New changes to eligibility criteria will help provide access for more Jefferson County residents seeking services at Cooper Green Mercy Health Services Authority.

Approved by the Jefferson County Commission, Cooper Green will evaluate income based on the individual person seeking to enroll, rather than the income of the household in which the person resides. Formerly, Cooper Green followed the federal definition of household income, which compares the sum of all working adults in the household’s income to the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

With the change, a person meets the criteria to be enrolled in low- or no-cost plans at Cooper Green, if they make $29,160 a year or less.

“The primary reason for this change is that we know there are lots of uninsured, low- or no-income Jefferson County residents who need health care services, and we want to make it as easy as possible to get the care needed,” said Laura Hurst, administrator at Cooper Green. “We feel strongly that another person’s finances should not be a barrier to health care for someone in need.”

Cooper Green Mercy Health, an affiliate of the UAB Health System, is a full-service ambulatory care facility that includes primary and specialty care clinics, urgent care, physical, occupational and speech therapy, laboratory services, imaging, and pharmacy. 

The new five-story, 211,000-square-foot facility will be built on the site of the former Cooper Green parking deck. The overall estimated cost is $120 million, and completion is expected in early 2025. The current building will continue to provide clinical services until the new building opens.

This eligibility change coincides with the building of a new Cooper Green facility set to open in late 2024. Hurst shared that these requirement changes and the new facility will enable providers to care for even more patients than the 6,300 county residents that Cooper Green serves today.  

To enroll, patients will be asked to provide certain documents that verify their residency, identity and, now, individual income. For more information on enrolling at Cooper Green, visit Cooper Green Mercy – Health Services Authority or coopergreen.org, or call 205-930-3377.