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DALLAS A statewide education and outreach event focusing on the new Affordable Care Act drew more than 10,000 people to the Dallas Convention Center on Saturday.

The Be Covered Texas event was hosted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and more than 30 community partners to provide health services and health care information.

'You really need to get this done, because it's out there,' said Beverly Hall.

For Shundie Kizart, a working single mother with two kids, it was a no-brainer. She already has insurance for herself and her kids, but wanted to see what other options were out there.

'Get up and get the facts for yourself,' Kizart said, adding that she received one-on-one attention from health care professionals who knew more about the plan than she did.

The only thing Kizart could not do and what organizers said they could not offer was to actually enroll individuals into the federal health insurance marketplace. That turned away some people, who were already turned off by the recent glitches on the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov website operated by the federal government.

'A little disappointed there, because I thought I would be able to sign up,' Hall said.

'Be Covered Texas is proud to be partnering with organizations that share our mission of expanding access to health care in Dallas,' said Michelle Riddell, chair of the Be Covered Texas campaign and vice president of community investment for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.

'This Care Fair creates an opportunity for uninsured Dallas families to access community resources and information that can help them understand their options during the open enrollment period,' Riddell said.

Organizers said if you weren't able to attend the event, much of the same information is available online at BeCoveredTexas.org.

'There's safety in having an insurance card in your pocket,' said Dr. Dan McCoy of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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