RICHARDSON, Texas, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas announced today that more than 100 community organizations across the state have joined its Be Covered educational campaign to help engage, educate and enroll the uninsured. Since its launch in March, the Be Covered Texas campaign now includes 103 organizations, and continues outreach to additional groups. Campaign partners include business organizations, civic groups, religious and faith-based organizations, health and wellness groups, community groups, educational groups, and physician organizations or clinics.
In addition to providing a bilingual website, materials and a text campaign, Be Covered Texas has also launched a bilingual consumer education hotline: 1-866-427-7492. Consumers can call this toll-free number Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT for more information about requirements of the new federal health care law.
"We are proud to have more than 100 community partners in this effort to prepare uninsured Texans for the enrollment period that begins October 1st," said Michelle Riddell, Chair of the Be Covered Texas campaign and Vice President of Community Investment for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. "We are working with our partners to reach uninsured Texans in the places they live, work, worship, text and tweet. Our momentum is growing, and we will continue to recruit new partners and participate in education events and communications across the state."
Since the campaign launch, Be Covered Texas has continued grassroots outreach and education efforts by working with its partner organizations at educational events and through local communications and publications, including newsletters, emails and social media. For example, in early June, a Be Covered Texas representative was invited to speak to more than 7,000 congregants at Sunday services at Windsor Village UMC.
"We believe that the Be Covered Texas campaign will provide our church family members and the Houston Community with the necessary information to help them make informed decisions about their new health insurance options," said Kirbyjon Caldwell, Senior Pastor, Windsor Village UMC in Houston.
In May, several partner organizations, including the Ferguson Road Initiative, distributed information about Be Covered Texas in their monthly member newsletters, and posted updates on their websites.
"For almost 20 years, FRI has promoted a safe and healthy community in far East Dallas. As a part of our ongoing commitment to community wellness, we are excited to partner with Be Covered Texas to help educate the community we serve about the new health insurance options available to them," said Vikki J. Martin, President ofFerguson Road Initiative.
And at the Marathon Kids Final Mile events held across Texas, a Be Covered Texas team distributed educational information to thousands of children and their families.
The Be Covered Texas online social media outlets have regularly been posting educational information and updates in both English and Spanish for followers, who currently total more than 6,700. Social media is particularly effective in reaching those described as "young invincibles" who are defined as healthy adults under 30 who may be less motivated to enroll in health insurance.
Be Covered Texas is committed to educating Spanish-speaking Texans about their health care choices. We are currently partnering with more than 20 Latino organizations across the state, including the Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and 10 LULAC Chapters, to inform their constituencies about the new law.
"LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States. We are committed to advancing the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs. Through our partnership with Be Covered Texas, we hope to educate our Texas members about their opportunity to obtain individual health coverage this fall," said Elia Mendoza, state president of Texas LULAC.
Currently, six statewide groups have partnered with Be Covered Texas: It's Time Texas, Marathon Kids, Texas NAACP, Las Comadres Para Las Americas, Texas LULAC, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, and Caring for Children Foundation of Texas, Inc.
Partners serve a broad variety of groups and communities, but share a common goal: to help their constituents understand and prepare for health insurance enrollment this fall:
- Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas: "We serve as a significant part of Dallas County's community service providers due to our one-stop strategy. By partnering with Be Covered Texas, we're able to include educational information about the new health insurance options available." – Dr. Beverly Mitchell Brooks, President
- KIPP Houston Public Schools (Houston): "KIPP Houston believes that knowledge is power, and therefore, is pleased to assist Be Covered Texas in their efforts to educate our community on the new health insurance policies available for all Houstonians under the Affordable Care Act." – Mike Feinberg, Co-Founder
- Inner-City Community Development Corporation: "Inner-City Community Development Corporation serves the needs of the South Dallas/Fair Park neighborhoods. Our programs focus on housing, economic development and community education. Through our partnership with Be Covered Texas, we hope to educate our members about their new options in obtaining health insurance coverage." – Diane Ragsdale, Managing Director
- OCA Greater Houston: "OCA-Greater Houston is committed to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in Houston. By partnering with Be Covered Texas, we hope to provide our members with the information they need to understand the new avenues of health insurance available in 2014." – Cecilia Pham, President
New campaign partners include: 97.9 The Box; Alley's House; American Diabetes Association – North Texas; Bangladesh Association, Houston; Beatrice Mays Institute; Brighter Bites; Bryan's House; Builders of Hope CDC – Dallas; Caribbean American Heritage Foundation of Texas; Caribbean Impact Network; Caring for Children Foundation of Texas, Inc.; Children's Museum of Houston; Christian Community Action; City of Houston Office of Business Opportunity; Community Council of Greater Dallas; Community Dental Care; Community Lifeline Center; Dallas Afterschool Network; Denver Harbor Civic Club; Dia de la Mujer Latina; Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute (At Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center); El Centro College West Campus; El Centro de Corazon; The Family Place; Genesis Women's Shelter & Support; GRACE Community Clinic; Grand Prairie Wellness Center; Greater Houston Black Chamber; Greater Houston Retailers Cooperative Association; Greater Northside Management District; Hampton Illinois Branch Library, Harmony Public Schools; Hope Clinic of Garland; Houston Area Urban League; Houston Karachi Sister City Association; Houston National Hispanic Institute; India House; Inner-City Community Development Corp. Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston; Islamic Society of Greater Houston; KIPP Houston Public Schools; Lancaster Outreach Center; Love & Grace Community Church; LULAC Bombasta Dance; LULAC Council 4208; LULAC Council 4483I, LULAC Council 4598, LULAC Council 4631; LULAC Council 4799, LULAC Council 4817; LULAC Council 4819; LULAC Council 4950; Majic 102.1; Memorial Assistance Ministries; Metrocrest Community Clinic; Mexican Institute of Greater Houston; Miles of Freedom; NAACP Arlington Texas Branch 6298; National Alliance on Mental Illness Gulf Coast; New Hope Baptist Church, North Dallas Shared Ministries; North Texas Alliance for Quality Care; North Texas Housing Coalition; Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce; Parents Step Ahead, SHAPE Community Center, Southfair Community Development Corp.; St. Hope Foundation; Stand for Children – Texas; Texas Criminal Justice Coalition; Texas LULAC; The Community of Faith; The Concilio; West Dallas Multipurpose Center and YWCA of Houston.
These organizations join existing partners: 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; Las Comadres Para Las Americas; LULAC Greater Houston Council 4967; Marathon Kids; Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center; Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Clinic Inc.; OCA Greater Houston Chapter; SER Jobs for Progress; 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; Vecinos Unidos, Inc.; 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. Organizations interested in partnering can visit BeCoveredTexas.org for more information about the new federal health care law. A full list of partners can be found at BeCoveredTexas.org.
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.
www.becoveredtexas.org | twitter.com/becovered | facebook.com/becovered.org
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) – the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas – is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and 500 hospitals to serve 4.8 million members in all 254 counties. It has also been ranked "Highest Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in Texas" for three years in a row by J.D. Power and Associates. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross and 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.
BCBSTX.com | Twitter.com/BCBSTX | Facebook.com/BlueCrossBlueShieldOfTexas | YouTube.com/BCBSTX
SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas