King County maps strategy to reach 180,000 uninsured people

Where the uninsured are in King County: Maps showing "hot zones" of uninsured residents -- before and after health reform.

Maps showing “hot zones” of uninsured residents — before and after health reform.

With the help of a map and the support of a lot of outreach partners, the team at Public Health — Seattle & King County is using a unique strategy to find the uninsured residents in their communities.

“We looked at all 39 cities in King County,” says program manager Daphne Pie. “We looked at who is currently doing outreach in those cities and what agencies do we need to reach and how can we ensure that clients wouldn’t have to travel … to get insured.  So we have outreach in all of our cities.”

King County is working with 23 partners to help people enroll in affordable health insurance this fall and winter. They’ll give special attention to neighborhoods and districts with high numbers of uninsured people. This strategy, of geo-targeting and working alongside organizations that have a strong presence in each community, is a unique approach developed in-house.

“We knew we couldn’t do it by ourselves,” says Pie. “(Our partners) are embedded in the communities. They know the communities.”

Lisa Stiffler wrote in a recent Seattle Times article that explains the effort:

Countywide, approximately 16 percent of the population lacks health insurance. But from Burien and Tukwila south to the county line, and in scattered pockets to the north, those numbers are higher, reaching nearly one-third in some places.

Officials will specifically target these areas for education and outreach.

If enrollment is low in an area with a particular immigrant population, for example, the county could provide additional printed materials in their language. Or if the audience includes a lot of young people, the outreach could shift to better appeal to them.

Public Health staff is starting to train an army of healthcare troops from community health, housing and social-service centers who will connect with these folks on the ground.


One comment on “King County maps strategy to reach 180,000 uninsured people

  1. Pingback: What makes health insurance a public concern? | Coverage is Here King County

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