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Okay, I know. Remembering birthdays, bill payments, and where you left your keys is hard enough. But there are a few dates you should keep in mind now that the Health Insurance Marketplace is up and running (sort of) in Texas. Here’s a breakdown, courtesy of the Texas Medical Association’s “Hey Doc” educational campaign.

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Need help figuring out which health insurance plan on the marketplace is right for you? That’s where the Texas “navigators” come in. These in-person assistants will help thousands across North Texas sign up for health insurance. Meet Sandra Luz, one navigator leading a team in Dallas.

Luz has filled out thousands of Children’s Health Insurance Program applications. For ten years, she’s worked with the Community Council of Greater Dallas (CCGD) helping families access health benefits.

Now, it’s time to learn more.

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More than two million Texans may qualify for insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. But many have no idea they’re eligible. We've got a calculator, so you don't have to do the math.

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In just a few days, Texans will be able to start going online to check out health insurance options as part of the Affordable Care Act. And today an all-star cast headlined by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to Dallas to pitch the new marketplace. 

You don't have to wait until Oct. 1 to start exploring your health insurance options. Get prepared now for the new marketplace with these tips.

Will you need to look for coverage on the Texas Health Insurance Marketplace? How much will it cost? Find answers on our new Breakthroughs blog.

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When it opens October 1st, this marketplace will not have any lines. At least that’s what we’re hoping. In Texas, the federally run health insurance marketplace (formerly known as “the exchange”), is an online shopping site designed to take the confusion out of buying private health insurance. So how will it work and who needs to shop there? We got the breakdown from Stacey Pogue of the Austin-based nonprofit, the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

It costs $13,660 for an American to have a hip replacement in Belgium; in the U.S., it's closer to $100,000.

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If you’re looking for work in Dallas-Fort Worth, your best bet is to look in the health care industry.

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The annual Dallas Mayor’s Back to School Fair greeted 40,000 to 50,000 people at Fair Park today.

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And you thought learning the Dewey Decimal System was hard. Librarians across the country have been recruited to help people seeking health insurance figure out their options under Obamacare.   

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You already search online for deals on things like plane tickets and hotels -- so why not an MRI or sonagram? That’s the premise of DealWell.com, a site that’s created a marketplace for health and wellness services.

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Since health savings accounts (HSAs) were authorized by congress ten years ago, they’ve been a hit with both employers and employees. The accounts, which are always paired with a high-deductible health plan, allow consumers to put away money for medical expenses without paying income tax on their savings.

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Health insurance companies aren’t the only ones competing for your money as the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate deadline approaches. Scammers are also trying to get in on the confusion. According to Jim Quiggle, a national spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. There are a variety of tricks con artists use to get sensitive information – most often they’ll pose as representatives of government agencies.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released data for the first time comparing average hospital charges for the 100 most common Medicare claims. A Washington Post analysis of the 10 most common medical procedures showed hospitals in Texas routinely had higher prices than the rest of the country.

Some North Texas health care companies are starting to practice what they preach. Baylor Health Care - known for its exceptional cancer treatment programs – now screens job seekers for nicotine use. If applicants applying online respond that they are smokers, they are re-directed to resources to help them stop smoking before they can reapply. As Susan Ladika reports for Workforce, Baylor joins the 4 percent of companies that follow a policy to not hire nicotine users. In Texas, 18.5% of the adult population are current cigarette smokers. Across all states, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults ranges from 9.3% to 26.5%. In Texas, 17.4% of high school students smoke.

Governor Rick Perry says he won't sign legislation that expands access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But news that Gov. Mike Beebe of Arkansas is looking into a third option to provide health care with federal assistance is making people wonder if Perry might follow his lead.

By 2030, nearly six million Latinos will be obese, according to The Texas State Demographer’s office. KUT's Veronica Zaragovia reports local communities are trying to raise awareness and shrink waistlines.

As far back as he can remember, George McCann lived in fear. When he was asleep he would have horrific nightmares filled with violent images. When he was awake, he often felt threatened by people, including members of his own family. And when he felt threatened, he would become aggressive, even violent.

George spent his childhood certain that something very bad was going to happen. And when he was 12, it did. His unrelenting fears led to a violent outburst at school. And George landed in a psychiatric hospital.

Hospitals across the country are turning to the neighborhood pharmacy to keep patients well after they return home from the hospital. The federal government began penalizing hospitals with high readmission rates in October, and although Texas hospitals are doing slightly better than the nation overall at preventing readmissions, some are looking to partner with pharmacies such as Walgreens to provide support for patients and follow-up care after hospital stays. Scott & White Healthcare, based in central Texas, recently announced its partnership with Walgreens.

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Governor Rick Perry is adamant, Texas will not make Medicaid available to more Texans by taking part in a federal program. But recently other Republican governors in Nevada and Arizona have changed their minds, saying they can’t ignore the billions of federal dollars they’d lose by opting out.

Lawmakers in Austin are now debating what Texas should do, including a senator from  Greenville who also wears a stethoscope.  

Erica Feliciano

The state of Texas is restoring some cuts it made to low-income, elderly patients on Medicare and Medicaid.

The population explosion in North Texas’ has brought a growing number of children without health insurance, and some of the counties affected come as a surprise.

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More than 1200 uninsured people have scheduled appointments for Saturday’s Dallas CARE Clinic. Organizers hope that first visit is just the beginning for those without coverage.

Among ‘Best Cities,’ We’re No. … 41

Sep 27, 2012
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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Dallas 41st in 50 best cities list, healthy food gets trashed in schools, and more.

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: a jumbo TV screen, a huge hitmaker and the biggest free clinic in Dallas.

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Several hundred low-income, uninsured Texans want Governor Perry to change his mind and expand Medicaid, as called-for in the federal healthcare law. They’ve traveled to Austin today from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio to deliver petitions to the Governor.

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In 2014, companies with more than 50 workers must provide health insurance or pay penalties under the Affordable Care Act.  The new healthcare law offers help to some small businesses, but leaves others worried about the bottom line.  

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Governor Rick Perry is turning down a state health insurance exchange and expansion of Medicaid. Those are two key provisions in the federal health care overhaul.

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