Technology Tuesdays: Location, location, location!

By Qursum Qasim

This blog entry is a part of Enroll America’s Technology Tuesdays blog series.

As the real estate mantra goes, location is everything! And we’ve found several new interactive maps that provide location-specific information about health coverage and status. These maps highlight important health information you might find useful for your work.

1)     The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, released its annual county rankings, which show, state by state and county by county, that where people live has a profound impact on their health. The project offers within-state rankings for counties in all 50 states according to their performance on a range of health outcomes, such as mortality or low birth weight, and health behaviors, such as tobacco use or physical activity. The rankings serve as a call to action for communities, counties, and states by offering insight into areas that need further improvement.

2)    We hope that millions of people will enroll in coverage in 2014, but where do they live? Illinois Health Matters recently produced an interactive map of Illinois that allows users to search by region, and within specific communities, to determine where the uninsured live in the state, and what kind of coverage they may be eligible to receive in 2014.

3)   The Kaiser Family Foundation has also developed a map that shows the estimated share of the population in each zip code that will be eligible for expanded coverage through premium tax credits or the Medicaid expansion.  

These tools vividly illustrate the gaps that exist in health status and coverage, but they also provide a starting point for conversations about practical steps to address these issues. Local communities are at the heart of the efforts that must be undertaken to find and enroll the uninsured in new coverage options starting next year. These tools can help you better understand the communities you plan to target in outreach efforts. They also provide insight into different communities’ strengths, which may offer the chance to learn from best practices in action.  

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