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Knocking on Doors, Seeking Uninsured

Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

All over Florida, volunteers and staffers with the nonprofit Enroll America went knocking on doors Saturday, looking for uninsured people so they could tell them about the opportunities for coverage coming this fall.

But in some areas, the "Get Covered, America!" campaign was hampered by out-of-date information from the last census. Some volunteers and staffers found that more often than not, the uninsured people no longer lived at that address.

And volunteer Harold Lamarr was given an address sheet for neighborhoods in the Town 'N Country area of Tampa, where few who answered spoke English. Lamarr doesn't speak Spanish.

Bilingual staffer Alexandra Ramirez, 25, didn't  have that problem. But the low-income neighborhood she canvassed, marked with cast-off furniture, sagging frame houses and tiny apartments, appeared to be one with high turnover: She could not find most of the names on her list.

Kaiser Health News reporter Phil Galewitz found the same thing accompanying a canvasser in Boca Raton, although the neighborhood was more upscale.

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.