HOUSTON We are only three weeks away from the beginning of open enrollement for the Affordable Care Act.

Texas has the highest percentage of people without health insurance in the nation: about 25 percent. Texas also has the highest number of uninsured children.

During a forum at the University of Houston healthcare experts and city officials, like Mayor Annise Parker, explained the new law and details about access and coverage. They urged the uninsured to educate themselves on the Affordable Care Act, so that they will be ready to sign up for health insurance, in just a few weeks.

This is not a partisan issue, this is about providing healthcare, Parker said.

Open enrollment begins Oct. 1 and ends March 31. Depending on when residents sign up, coverage can start as soon as Jan. 1, 2014.

Under the ACA those with pre-existing health conditions cannot be denied coverage. Also, while some adults may not qualify, their children will.

We now have universal coverage for nearly all Texas children, so it s very important we sign every one of them up, said Dr. Laura Guerra- Cardus, with the Children s Defense Fund Of Texas.

The workshop Saturday was one of several that will be hosted by The Children's Defense Fund and the Texas Organzing Project to help residents navigate the complicated sign-up process.

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