Knocking on Doors, Seeking Uninsured

Jul 29, 2013

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.

Tammy Spencer with Enroll America
Credit Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News

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 campaign was hampered by out-of-date information from the last census.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.