Affordable Care Act

Federal Official: Houston is Ready for Tuesday’s Obamacare Launch

The city of Houston is bracing for the launch of the Health Insurance Marketplace tomorrow. The marketplace is essentially a website where the uninsured can shop for health plans, and it's a key part of the Affordable Care Act.

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The marketplace website should go live tomorrow at 7 a.m.

It will allow uninsured people to shop for health plans, compare prices and see if they are eligible for a subsidy.

Marjorie Petty is the federal Health and Human Services director for a five-state region that includes Texas.

She says a partial government shut-down would not affect the launch of the marketplace:

“The website is still there, ready to move. The Navigators are still in the community ready to assist.”

Petty says Houston has done a great job of bringing together all the different public and private groups who want to help.

“It is amazing. They have a strategic place in place that is unparalleled across the country.”

Hundreds of people at clinics and community centers have been trained to help enroll people, and the city has set up a call center.

Health and Human Services Director Petty says all this has happened despite the fact that the state has been uninvolved, and Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz have been vocal in their opposition to the law.

“The communities all over this state have just ignited in terms of the creative response to getting their uninsured insured. And I think Texas is going to exceed all expectations in terms of the numbers that get insured.”

Mayor Annise Parker and other groups will hold a press conference tomorrow to draw attention to the marketplace.     

For more information aboout the Affordable Care Act, visit www.kuhf.org/acainfo

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