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North Texans Learn More About Affordable Care Act

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In less than a week, the first major part of the Affordable Care Act will take effect. Beginning Tuesday, people can start choosing the insurance plans that are required by law.

There are lots of question, but only some answers. That’s why dozens of people turned out in Dallas Wednesday. They were there trying to get those answers.

It is neighborhoods like the one bordering Dallas Love Field Airport that CBS 11 News found people who will need to either enroll in a plan or help a friend or relative get enrolled.

With just five days to go, a lot of people know they’ve got to do it but are still hesitant to take that step.

Wednesday dozens of people, with dozens of questions, gathered at Bethany Missionary Baptist Church. Cynthia McKinney was among the group. “I really want to know how much will it cost,” she said. “You say affordable. What is affordable?”

Ready with pen and paper McKinney listened as a representative from the federal government went over the bullet points of the Affordable Care Act.

Many of the questions being asked were about the “fine print” or details of the plan.

As many as 1 in 3 Dallas residents have no health insurance and must sign up by January. They can start picking a plan on October 1st. Enrollment can be done online, by phone, mail, or with the help of a counselor.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area some 43 insurance providers will offer healthcare coverage.

There will be three levels of coverage — bronze, silver, and gold. The costs will vary, depending on where you live, your age, and how much you make.

Davis Perez and Miriam Dominguez attended the meeting, representing a Hispanic community near Love Field. “I have six children and I’m a single parent. What effect will it have financially on my budget?” Perez asked. “We are working [to find out more] as fast as we can so we can educate our community.”

Many at Wednesday’s meeting said it was the first and closest one they’d found being held near their neighborhood.

“Why didn’t we do this three months ago?” Dominguez asked. “Why the push now? The deadline of course, but it’s not really fair to us.”

Even if people don’t feel prepared to enroll next Tuesday there are things they can do now. Click here to learn about the different kinds of plans and gather information about who in the family needs coverage.

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