Affordable Care Act helps National Health Service Corps Increase Access to Primary Care

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Over 5 years, the Obama Administration has supported nearly 14,000 health care providers practicing in the communities that need them most

The National Health Service Corps made more than 4,500 loan repayment and scholarship awards to clinicians and students in fiscal year 2013 thanks to an investment of more than $284 million from the Affordable Care Act. Grants were also made to 32 states to support state loan repayment programs thanks to this funding. This is part of the Administration’s commitment to strengthen and diversify the nation’s workforce to meet growing demand.

With historic investments from the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act, the National Health Service Corps has supported nearly 14,000 health care providers between 2009 and 2013. A new report shows that more than half of the nearly 1,000 Corps scholars in the pipeline report that they are minorities. The report also includes new state-level data on awards.  

“Because of the Affordable Care Act, the National Health Service Corps is providing loans and scholarships to more doctors, nurses, and other health care providers, so more people get the care they need,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “National Health Service Corps clinicians are providing care to approximately 9.3 million patients across the country.”

The National Health Service Corps provides loan repayment and scholarships to health care providers who commit to practicing in the areas of the United States that need them most.

There are nearly 8,900 primary care clinicians currently providing care in the National Health Service Corps. The number of providers has increased by nearly two and half times since 2008.  In addition to Corps clinicians currently providing care, nearly 1,000 students, residents, and health providers in the National Health Service Corps pipeline are preparing to go into practice.

“More than 85 percent of National Health Service Corps  providers continue to serve in high need areas two years after their service commitment is met, “ said  HRSA Administrator Dr. Mary K. Wakefield , Ph.D., R.N. “The Affordable Care Act’s investment in the Corps  helps ensure underserved communities have access to quality health care.”


The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  HRSA is the primary federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. 

For more information about NHSC programs, please visit

Date Last Reviewed:  March 2017