Press Releases: January 30, 2014

Mayor Annise Parker Announces Free Affordable Care Act Enrollment Resources Including Free Tax Guidance

Mayor Annise Parker Announces Free Affordable Care Act Enrollment Resources Incl. Free Tax Guidance

HOUSTON (Jan. 30, 2014) – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has brought big changes to the health care system and many people are confused about obtaining insurance through the Marketplace and its tax implications. To help with both their tax returns and Marketplace enrollment, the City of Houston (COH) has partnered with Neighborhood Centers Inc. and United Way of Greater Houston to provide Marketplace Navigator assistance and accurate information required for enrollment. Those interested in enrolling can visit most COH multi-service centers (MSC) for assistance on a daily basis.

Mayor Annise Parker reminded Houstonians that there is never a cost to enroll in the Marketplace and encouraged everyone to take advantage of services offered at the city’s MSC and at Neighborhood Centers’ 15 convenient locations for tax preparation. Neighborhood Centers offers free tax preparation to families earning up to $50,000 and single individuals earning up to $30,000.

“The City of Houston is a solid partner in the effort to provide free Affordable Care Act Marketplace assistance at many locations throughout the Houston area. Through partnerships with agencies such as the United Way Greater Houston and Neighborhood Centers Inc., we can ensure that citizens have accurate, comprehensive guidance to make informed decisions, said Parker. “All these services are free and available to everyone. No one should be paying for Marketplace enrollment assistance.”

Tax filing deadline is April 15, 2014 but taxpayers must enroll in the Marketplace by March 31, 2014 to avoid a tax penalty on 2014 taxes filed in 2015. Filing a tax return with accurate income information is necessary to avoid a penalty in 2015 as the varying insurance plans and subsidies are based on income.

For more information on locating a COH multi-service center, call 832-393-5423. For more information regarding free tax services at Neighborhood Centers, call 2-1-1, Texas United Way HELPLINE.

About United Way of Greater Houston
For 90 years, United Way of Greater Houston has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives, tackling key community social issues and making a lasting difference. United Way of Greater Houston touches nearly one of every two lives in the Bay Area, Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. United Way focuses on strengthening our community by developing children and youth to their full potential, creating strong families and safe neighborhoods, sustaining senior independence and rebuilding people’s lives. United Way of Greater Houston is the best way to make the biggest difference in our community. For information, please visit, www.unitedwayhouston.org.

About Neighborhood Centers Inc.
Neighborhood Centers Inc. brings resources, education and connection to more than 400,000 people throughout Texas each year. For more than a century, Neighborhood Centers has offered innovative community development solutions for people at every stage of life – from infants to seniors. The organization works with residents of emerging communities in 74 service locations to help them discover the strengths and skills necessary to become productive, prosperous and self-sufficient. Building on the strengths of individuals and communities, Neighborhood Centers is transforming them. FOR GOOD. Neighborhood Centers Inc. is a United Way agency. For more information, visit http://www.neighborhood-centers.org.

Neighborhood Centers offers free tax preparation services through its Neighborhood Tax Centers program. Since 2009, over 139,000 tax returns have been prepared by Neighborhood Tax Centers with a combined $182 million returned to the Houston community.

CONTACT:     Hannah Payne
                         Carbonara Group
OFFICE:          713-524-8170
CELL:              713-819-1320
EMAIL:           hannah@carbonaragroup.com

CONTACT:     Stephenie Schillaci Olguin
                         Neighborhood Centers Inc.
OFFICE:          713-669-5305
CELL:              713-304-4475
EMAIL:           solguin@neighborhood-centers.org