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UH Law Center Hosts Citywide Forum on Insurance Options Under New Health Care Program

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Sept. 6, 2013 – The Center for Children, Law & Policy at the University of Houston Law Center is co-sponsoring a daylong forum Saturday to explain insurance coverage options under the Affordable Care Act, parts of which go into effect Oct. 1.

The citywide forum, "Healthcare in a Changing Landscape - Connecting Houstonians to Coverage," will explain opportunities through the new Health Insurance Marketplace that opens for business next month.

Mayor Annise Parker, state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, state Rep. Garnet Coleman, state Sen. Rodney Ellis, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee are scheduled to help explain the new program and share thoughts and concerns with their constituents.

Our purpose in co-sponsoring Saturday's forum is to get the word out to Houston families that a key portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will open Oct. 1,” said Ellen Marrus, George Butler Research Professor of Law and co-director of the Center for Children, Law & Policy. “For the first time, families will be eligible to enroll in health insurance plans through the ACA's new health care marketplaces. This is a huge step forward for providing affordable health care for the 25 percent of Texans who are currently uninsured, the highest rate in the nation.

“The forum's focus will be two-fold,” Marrus explained. “Our morning speakers will present to key community stakeholders who are critical to getting the word out to the Houston community about upcoming health care changes. Afternoon speakers will directly connect consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions about getting insured through the new health care marketplaces.

“The changes brought by the Affordable Care Act are vitally important for children and families,” Marrus continued. “More than 25 percent of the population under 65 in Texas is uninsured. The ACA already allows young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance plans until the age of 26. Starting Oct. 1, families without health insurance will be able to find competitive rates for coverage through the new health care marketplaces and, hopefully, the number of uninsured Texans will start to decrease.”

Co-sponsors of the forum are the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas, the Texas Organizing Project, and Enroll America's Get Covered America campaign.

The program is aimed at outreach and enrollment stakeholders; current and future healthcare workers; social workers; public health students and professionals; professional and civic associations; community-based organizers and educators, and anyone with an interest in this important topic.

The forum will be held in Krost Hall on the University of Houston Law Center campus beginning at 8:45 and ending at 4 p.m.  Cost is $10 and includes lunch and materials. Register at

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Members of the media wishing to attend are requested to RSVP to Anat Kelman Shaw, CDF-Texas Communications Director,

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools.

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