RICHARDSON, Texas, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Be Covered Texas campaign announced partnerships with 28 organizations, including community groups, direct service agencies, advocacy groups and churches. These organizations represent the campaign's first partners in the ongoing effort to raise awareness among uninsured Texans about how the new health care law impacts them and how they can take steps to access individual health insurance. The enrollment period for uninsured Texans opens in October, with health care plans beginning in January 2014.
Of the 28 new campaign partners, four work specifically within the Hispanic community: LULAC Greater Houston Council 4967, Las Comadres Para Las Americas, Vecinos Unidos, Inc. and SER Jobs for Progress. These partnerships create a strong foundation for the Be Covered Texas outreach effort which will continue to seek additional partners that can help reach and inform as many Texans as possible.
"We are so honored to be partnering with organizations across Texas to reach uninsured residents and share information about expanding access to health care coverage in Texas," said Dr. Esteban Lopez, Regional President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. "This opportunity is especially important because, in Texas, 48% of people eligible for enrollment-related tax credits are Hispanic."
Tax credits will reduce the amount that an individual or family pays for health insurance coverage. The credits will be determined on a sliding scale, based on income, so that individuals at the lower end of the income scale get the most help.
Organizations that partner with the Be Covered Texas campaign serve a variety of communities and constituencies but are unified in their desire to share information about the upcoming exchange and how individuals and families can best navigate the changes ahead. Through their partnership with the Be Covered Texas campaign, each organization will have access to educational materials and guidance in both English and Spanish. The Be Covered Texas campaign will work with the organizations to distribute information and raise awareness at their existing events, and will also host education and enrollment events as the enrollment period approaches.
- "The 2011 US Census states Hispanics represent 37% of Texas' population and more than 58% of the state's uninsured. We hope that by partnering with Be Covered Texas, we can help educate our members about how they can qualify for assistance with health insurance in 2014." - Richard Reyes, President of LULAC Greater Houston Council 4967
- "Texas' uninsured rate is staggering. This is the time to start helping our communities learn more about how they can get health insurance through the new marketplace. We're excited to form this partnership with Be Covered Texas to help educate our families about the options available to them."- Nory Angel, Executive Director, SER Jobs for Progress (Houston)
- "Las Comadres Para Las Americas strives to build connections and community to empower Latinas by engaging in dialogues about education, employment, culture, and resources, among other things. The Be Covered Texas education initiative will allow us to provide our community with information to help them receive the health insurance they need." - Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Ph.D., National/International Founder, President & CEO, Las Comadres Para Las Americas (Dallas)
- "Our organization is focused on finding solutions for those in our neighborhood. Health insurance — or the lack thereof — contributes significantly to the health issues faced by those in our neighborhood. By partnering with Be Covered Texas, we hope to help educate our families about the new health insurance opportunities available to them starting October 1."- Rosa E. Lopez, Executive Director, Vecinos Unidos, Inc. (Dallas)
In addition to the four organizations listed above, the following organizations have partnered with the Be Covered Texas campaign: Asian American Family Services, Asian American Health Coalition, Bethel's Place, Dallas Bethlehem Center, Dallas NAACP, Family Compass Group, Ferguson Road Initiative, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Houston NAACP, It's Time Texas, Jubilee Park and Community Center, Marathon Kids, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Clinic Inc., OCA Greater Houston Chapter, South Asian Chamber of Commerce, St. Luke United Methodist, Texas NAACP, Texas Women's Empowerment Foundation, The School Zone - West Dallas, Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas, Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation, VN Teamwork, and Windsor Village United Methodist Church.
Be Covered Texas has ongoing outreach efforts underway and will continue to create partnerships with community and civic groups. Interested partners can request more information at www.becoveredtexas.org. The campaign website will also share information about insurance coverage, benefits plan options, and important requirements of the new Federal health care law. As the deadline for purchasing individual insurance approaches, the website will help guide Texans through the enrollment process.
About Be Covered Texas
Be Covered Texas is a campaign focused on helping uninsured Texans understand how the new health care law impacts them and what steps they need to take to gain access to individual health insurance. The campaign will work with community partners to provide user-friendly information and on-the-ground guidance with the ultimate goal of helping Texans Be Covered. The campaign is fully funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. To receive alerts from the Be Covered Texas campaign text 33633 with the word JOINTX for English updates or UNIRTX for Spanish updates.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400 hospitals to serve 4.8 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas