What you need to sign up for new health plans


Houston retiree Dorothy Blackwell has Medicare, but if she did not, Blackwell says she would sign up for coverage under the Affordable Health Care Act.

"I think it is disgraceful that we have so many people in Texas as well as in the United States who have no insurance," she said.

On Tuesday October 1, those without health insurance can sign up for coverage. But with four days left before the sign ups begin, many are unclear about what they will need to get the coverage started.

"A lot of people have been getting a lot of misinformation or incorrect information about what is going to be going on with Affordable Care," said Steffen Marshall, program director at Good Neighbor Health Center.

Marshall says he has been trying to clear up the confusion by letting people know exactly what they will need to have with them when signing up for coverage.

"You need to bring ID, proof of who you are, income and also how many people are in your house hold," Marshall said.

He added proving income means bringing tax returns and paycheck stubs. That information is extremely important because income levels will be used to determine if those seeking coverage qualify for subsidies that offset the cost of the plans.

You can sign up online, but if you need help, places like local health care centers are where to turn to figure out which of the four levels of coverage will best fit your family.

Complicating things, there have been delays in the process for small business owners. They will be able to sign up employees starting November 1.

Keep in mind if you need the coverage, you have several months to sign up. October 1 is simply the first day of the sign up process.

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