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DALLAS - Uninsured patients will be able to enroll for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 1, but local health care providers are already gearing up for the change.

Despite the State of Texas opting out of the program, many clinics are already seeing federal dollars come their way.

According Mission East Dallas' Chief Executive Officer Charles Wiltraut, his clinic received around $70,000 for outreach and enrollment from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Money his clinic is using to hire a full-time outreach and enrollment coordinator.

Dr. Chris Berry, a physician at Mission East Dallas, said as they see more patients in this clinic, less have a costly emergency room visit in the future. Through regular check up, Dr. Berry often catches chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma before it becomes an emergency.

'Those are all diseases that I see progress in people, in the uninsured population, that lead a lot of times to really bad things -- Amputations, strokes, people become disabled because they didn't have access to a regular clinic like this,' Berry said.

E-mail srobertson@wfaa.com

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