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HCFA Hits The Streets For Coverage

HCFA Canvassers spread the word on health coverage 12-20-14 (Boston Globe photo)

HCFA Hits The Streets For Coverage

December 20, 2014

Dozens of HCFA office staffers joined our canvassing teams on Saturday to knock on doors in Boston to get the word out about health care coverage options.

We've set a goal of meeting over 200,000 Bay Staters, and with the over 2000 doors we hit today, we're getting close to meeting our goal. We're working throughout the state, concentrating on low income and immigrant neighborhoods likely to have MassHealth or Health Connector coverage.

Our message was the need for everyone to check their coverage options, and renew their coverage if it's expiring. The Globe went with us, and here's excerpts from their report:

Days before the deadline to enroll for coverage beginning Jan. 1 through the Massachusetts Health Connector, volunteers and canvassers deployed in the South End today to knock on doors and tell residents about the agency’s open enrollment.

About 30 people gathered on the second floor of a South End dance studio this morning for breakfast and a crash course in canvassing, before departing in teams of two with a professional canvasser.

Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, executive director of Health Care for All, and Jean Yang, head of the Health Connnector, went door to door with one team.

“We want to make sure everyone has coverage, and the coverage they have is working for them,” Whitcomb Slemmer said....

“We want to make sure there is no gap in coverage,” said Maria Gonzalez, communications director with Health Care For All.

The South End has diversified over the past 15 years, she said, and canvassers were told to prepare to encounter a wide variety of languages. They carried brochures in eight different languages and door hangers in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. ...

The process, repeated thousands of times, goes as follows: knock on the door, ask people who answer about their insurance -- do they have it, what kind, are they satisfied with their coverage, and would they like assistance applying through the Connector if they aren’t insured -- and log the information in a phone app. ....

(Boston Globe photo by John Tlumacki)

       - Brian Rosman