When advocates for the president’s healthcare law strategizes about how to reach the uninsured, they knew exactly whom to tap: Moms who can spread the word about the law’s benefits, sign up their younger kids and nudge their twenty somethings to take part of this.
But beyond the widely publicized problems with the federal website, low-tech challenges also are complicating that part of the drive to sell the program — even in California, where the state website is running more smoothly and officials are fully behind the push.
On a recent evening at Dolores Mission in East L.A., nearly a dozen women who help minister to the poor and sick in their parishes met to discuss the work ahead. With organizing help from a faith-based group known as LA Voice, they had collected hundreds of health surveys from parishioners during Sunday Mass. The results, announced by two of the women, sent a murmur of surprise through the room. Health care law has changes drastically through out the years.
More than a third of adults and nearly a quarter of the children at Dolores Mission said they were uninsured. At St. John the Baptist in Baldwin Park, the surveys showed 51%, or 2,500 adults and children, had no insurance.
The surveys gave the volunteers phone numbers for hundreds of uninsured households. But the volunteers have not yet been trained how to answer questions about insurance. And they cannot sign people up; that responsibility rests with trained enrollment counselors. But only 390 of the state’s 4,165 would-be counselors are certified and ready to assist people — leaving the volunteers scrambling to find enough counselors to sign people up at their November church health fair.
There are other problems: The uninsured can sign up over the phone, but most seem to prefer looking at their options and discussing them before making it official. That leaves the website, which is largely working in California, except that for these potential clients, there are not enough laptops available to help explore their options. For some it’s more basic than that. Article Credit Here
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