Houston Community Health Event on Saturday, October 12 Offers Health Insurance Enrollment Information and Free Health Services

Be Covered Texas and community groups work together to bring families and individuals together for health care education, flu shots, health screenings and other resources

RICHARDSON, Texas, Oct. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Be Covered Texas, a statewide education and outreach campaign sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, is working with more than 30 community partners to provide health services and health care information at the Be Covered Texas Houston Care Fair on Saturday, October 12 at the Reliant Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Be Covered Texas Houston Care Fair is expected to attract hundreds of families looking for information about the new health care law, healthy food giveaways, community resources and a wide-range of free services including flu shots and health screenings. Free parking is available with an event flyer or parking voucher available for download at BeCoveredTexas.org.

"Be Covered Texas is proud to be partnering with organizations who share our mission of expanding access to health care in Houston," said Michelle Riddell, Chair of the Be Covered Texas campaign and Vice President of Community Investment for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. "This Care Fair creates an opportunity for uninsured Houston families to access community resources and information that can help them understand their options during the open enrollment period."

Participating organizations will provide attendees with free educational information and health-related screenings and activities. H-E-B and The Houston Food Bank will sponsor the Farmer's Market, which will give the first 1,000 families the ingredients to prepare a nutritional meal for four.

Participating organizations include: American Lung Association, Barbara Jordan International Preschool, Brighter Bites, DAYA Inc., El Centro de Corazon, Career and Recovery Inc., Caring for Children Foundation of Texas, Global Learning Village, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church, ECHOS, Eye Care For Kids, Harmony Public Schools, Harris County Department of Education - Head Start Houston, H-E-B, Hope Academy, HOPE Clinic, Houston Area Urban League, Houston Area Women's Center, Houston Food Bank, Hope Through Grace Inc., IBN Sina Foundation, Legacy Community Health Services, Lone Star Legal Aid, METRO, St. Hope Foundation Inc., The Kingdom Builders Center, VAC of Houston, Walk Support Network and Women Infant and Children (WIC).

"H-E-B is pleased to be working with the Be Covered Texas campaign by providing nutritional food products that encourages healthy lifestyle habits for families," said Cyndy Garza Roberts, H-E-B Public Affairs Director – Houston. "Our intent is that through our participation at the Care Fair, we will make it easier for Houston families to access healthy lifestyle resources."

"The Houston Food Bank and Brighter Bites are proud to partner with Be Covered Texas to reach Houston's uninsured and provide healthy food and nutrition education for families," said Lisa Helfman, Founder of Brighter Bites, a partner program of the Houston Food Bank.

"As a pastor I'm always looking for ways to provide my church family, and the community, with information and services to help improve their lives. Our partnership with Be Covered Texas and our participation in this weekend's Houston Care Fair will not only let people know health care is now affordable, but it will also make the information more accessible, giving those who have been previously disenfranchised the opportunity to make sense of the health insurance options now available to them," said D. Z. Cofield, Senior Pastor of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

"For more than a decade, Harmony Public Schools have provided students from under-served communities the opportunity to learn the life skills needed to succeed. As part of our mission, we are working to help our students recognize and understand how to access health insurance through our partnership with Be Covered Texas. We are participating in the Houston Care Fair to provide our students, and our community, the opportunity to understand the new health care law and to access the other valuable health care resources available," said Soner Tarim, Ph.D., CEO and Superintendent of Schools for Harmony Public Schools.

The Houston Care Fair will be comprised of several stations, including:

  1. ACA Zone – Attendees will be able to ask questions one-on-one and learn about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from qualified community experts.
  2. Kids Corner – The family-friendly kid zone will provide children's activities including Blue Bear, coloring books/crayons, crafts, face painting and other activities.
  3. Medical Center – Attendees can receive free flu shots from the Caring for Children Foundation, blood pressure and glucose screenings, dental screenings, peripheral arterial disease screenings, HIV and Hep-C education, vision screenings and BMI screenings.
  4. Community Resources – Tables and booths of community resources including community clinics, health education, employment, housing, education resources and more.
  5. Story Wall – A place where attendees can share their stories and experiences and tell the Be Covered Texas campaign how it can continue to help build awareness among their families and friends.
  6. Farmer's Market – H-E-B, Houston Food Bank and Brighter Bites will be handing out a free bag of healthy groceries and helpful information to the first 1,000 families. Groceries will include fresh bell peppers, zucchini, pasta and pasta sauce to create a healthy family dinner of pasta primavera.

Be Covered Texas Houston Care Fair is part of the campaign's commitment to providing free educational resources. Be Covered Texas also provides a bilingual website, materials, toll-free hotline and a text campaign. Consumers can call toll free 866-427-7492 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT, visit BeCoveredTexas.org or text 33633 with the word JOINTX for English or UNIRTX for Spanish for updates on the campaign and regular information about the new federal health care law.

Since the Be Covered Texas campaign launch in March, grassroots outreach and education efforts have continued through its more than 140 partner organizations. Career and Recovery Inc., DAYA Inc., El Centro de Corazon, HOPE Clinic and Houston Area Women's Center are Be Covered Texas community partners and have been working with the campaign to distribute information and educate their members during the months leading up to open enrollment.  

About Be Covered Texas
Be Covered Texas has more than 140 community partners 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 works 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, New Mexico and Montana), 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 Be Covered Texas