The statewide education and outreach campaign called Be Covered Texas brought 30 community health partners together to provide free health screenings, free flu shots and information on the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare.”
Learning about how to get healthcare coverage at an affordable price was the big draw. That’s what got Leona Royal of Mesquite out to the fair on Saturday. She lost her job and her health insurance a year ago.
"It's been crazy because I have had some illness and I went to Parkland and you wait all day in line to try to get seen and you still don't get seen and then all the other places you gotta have money or no one will see you,” said Royal.
As Royal and her sister took advantage of free health screenings both were looking forward to getting with health care “navigators” to find out what health insurance they can get and how much it will cost. Nearly a month after the launch of the government's website, Healthcare.gov, they still have no idea.
"One of my sisters and I tried to get on for about a week now and we haven't been able to get on the site," says Royal.
The line of hundreds wanting to get into the fair snaked outside the Dallas Convention Center for a couple of hours.
"I'm unemployed right now so I haven't been able to get any kind of benefits,” says Monica Selvera. “[My husband] doesn't have a job right now so we haven't been able to find any kind of insurance that'll help us."
The Selvera family is among that group of uninsured Texans who know there's going to be health insurance available but have no idea how to approach it. Selvera told NBC 5 she had not been to the government's healthcare website and really didn’t know much about it.
James and Linda Kille are freelance actors we found in line who're curious to see if they can find affordable healthcare. James stopped paying for his own health insurance a decade ago.
"Premiums kept going up and up and I didn't want to send a third of my paycheck to some insurance company on,” says James Kille. “I look at it as gambling. They're the house and we're the gamblers."
Those eligible for health insurance subsidies were at least able to learn that today -- but they couldn't go as far as signing up for a health insurance plan. To get on one they have to go through the medical insurance exchange markets. Most people have not been able to sign up for plans through the insurance exchanges because of major problems with the government's healthcare website.
For more on the statewide campaign sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas called Be Covered Texas, check out www.becoveredtexas.org