HOUSTON, Jan. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is hosting a free, health insurance enrollment and wellness event in Houston on January 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chancellors Family Center. At the Countdown to Coverage: Health Care Enrollment and Wellness Fair, enrollment counselors will provide Texans with in-person enrollment assistance in both English and Spanish. The 2015 health insurance enrollment period opened on November 15, 2014, and will end on February 15, 2015.
At the events, BCBSTX will provide educational materials about the importance of health insurance and how to enroll. The event will also offer on-site health insurance educational resources for consumers interested in learning how to get the most benefit from their health insurance coverage, free health screenings and additional community resources.
A health insurance plan can help consumers protect their family's health and financial future. As the February 15 deadline for open enrollment approaches, consumers should be aware of two key regulations that may affect them if they do not enroll in a health insurance plan:
- After February 15, 2015, unless Texans experience a qualifying life event, they will not be able to sign up for insurance through the exchange until the next open enrollment period, which will be in fall 2015.
- The health care law requires all tax filers to declare whether they had health care coverage in 2014 when they file their 2014 returns this spring. Some may be penalized for having no coverage. To avoid this penalty in 2015, consumers need to have minimal essential coverage by the February 15 deadline.
"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is committed to raising awareness in the community about the importance of enrolling in health insurance, especially before the February 15 deadline, " said Dr. Robert Morrow, medical director for BCBSTX. "The Countdown to Coverage: Health Care Enrollment and Wellness Fair will have in-person help and free health and community resources for the whole family."
The event will also offer free flu shots, medical and dental screenings, community resources, free bags of fresh produce donated by H-E-B (one per family while supplies last) and a children's activity area featuring a balloon maker, face painting and Wii Fitness Games. The Caring for Children Foundation of Texas will provide free flu shots, H-E-B will provide free glucose and blood pressure screenings, Allendale Chiropractic Clinic will provide thermography exams, and dental screenings will be provided by Aegean Dental.
Joining the effort to increase the awareness of enrolling in health insurance is acclaimed Tejano singer Little Joe, lead singer for Little Joe y La Familia, one of the most popular Tex-Mex bands in the music industry and winner of five Grammy Awards. Additionally, various sports personalities will be on-site hosting meet and greets for attendees. The Houston Texans mascot, TORO and players from the Houston Astros will be hosting a meet and greet, and players from the USA Rugby Team will be hosting a rugby clinic and signing autographs.
Several community organizations are planning to be on-site to provide health and wellness information, including the Alzheimer's Association, the American Lung Association, Arthritis Foundation, Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., Collaborative for Children, Community Family Centers, Easter Seals, Harris County Area Agency on Aging, the Houston Food Bank, March of Dimes, Susan G. Komen, United Way and others.
In communities across the state, BCBSTX is providing information and assistance through events, corporate and retail partnerships, traveling mobile assistance centers and RVs, online resources and social media outreach.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Countdown to Coverage: Health Care Enrollment and Wellness Fair
- Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Chancellors Family Center, 6535 Dumfries Dr., Houston, Texas 77096
- Parking is free (enter the parking lot at Dumfries and Fondren)
Special Appearances and Activities:
- Meet TORO, the Official Mascot of the Houston Texans from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Learn how to play rugby with Louis Stanfill and Nick Evans Serevi of the USA Rugby Team
- Meet and get an autograph from Tejano singer Little Joe from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
- Take part in a fun neighborhood cookout provided by Hotdog Corral! Free hotdogs and refreshments will be served (one item per person, while supplies last)
Consumers can register early for the events by calling 866-427-7497 or visiting EnrollYouTx.com. To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas health plans, visit www.bcbstx.com or call 888-731-0317 for assistance in English or Spanish.
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 5 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, 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