Millions Of Texans Prepare For ACA Enrollment

By Jennifer Lindgren

CBS DFW (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSDFW.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSDFW.com/Health

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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Just hours from now, open enrollment begins for millions of Americans who will be required to obtain insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In Dallas, that means most of the 500,000 uninsured will have to sign up for a plan.

Locally, 43 providers will offer plans ranging in coverage.

In her neighborhood just south of downtown Dallas, Lakashia Wallace is ready for October 1. “I will be seeking out someone to assist me in the process of securing a doctor for my family,” said Wallace. The single mom says, for the first time, she and her children will be able to afford health insurance.

People can enroll online, by phone, mail, or in person with the help of a navigator.

As a volunteer for the Texas Organizing Project (TOP), Wallace is also making sure her uninsured neighbors are ready too. “We have a lot of people in our community here who need health care, who are sick and not able to see a doctor,” she said.

One of the goals of the TOP is to educate, and volunteers have knocked on 16,500 doors this summer, getting the word out about the Affordable Care Act.

Across town, Miriam Dominguez is working hard to educate her neighborhood, too. “It’s kind of like double work because we have to deliver the message in English and Spanish, and make sure our residents understand how this is all going to work,” Dominguez said.

As president of the Love Field West Neighborhood Association, she’s heard from many in this predominantly Hispanic community who still have questions about enrollment.

The association has asked for a representative from the Department of Health and Human Services to speak at their community meeting in late October.

But Dominguez says they’d have liked to be able to get the information out earlier.

Enrollment ends March 31, 2014, but the key date for those who wish to start coverage on January 1st is to plan on signing up by December 15.

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