Even though open enrollment is over, there are ways to get affordable health insurance

Carolyn Thomson, ACA Health Insurance Navigator for the Epilepsy Alliance, Florida, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM yesterday morning to talk about health insurance.

Special enrollment and tax credit reconciliation continues, even though open enrollment is over.

Thomson said, “What’s happening is everybody says open enrollment is over. So that’s it. I can’t do anything until next year. But that’s not true. Because there is a special enrollment period and there’s all kinds of life events and other qualifiers that can get you through to health insurance outside of open enrollment. So my message is, even if you look at a list of what it’s supposed to be, give me a call. There’s always something to find to get you enrolled.”

There were 131 Monroe County residents enrolled in affordable health insurance during the special enrollment.

Thomson said, “It continues to go, I’m at 152 right now for our contract year. Just doing my part, it’s really important for our community to be healthy. We’ve got a goal to get the uninsured insured in our county. One person at a time is that how this goes.”

The marketplace can get confusing.

Thomson said, “I try to break it down simply for people because it can be confusing. The Affordable Cares Act provides subsidies in the form of tax credits to lower the cost of health insurance. The tax credits are based on an estimate of income for the year, and that tax credit is subtracted from your health plan premium. So it’s tied directly to how much you’re going to pay for a health plan. Now, at the end of the year, when you do your taxes, you reconcile that estimated income to your actual income, which can change what your tax subsidy is. So here’s what it is. If you have health insurance, say in 2023, the IRS is going to compare your income on your tax return with the income on your application. If it’s lower, you have additional credits. If it’s higher, you may owe additional tax. You get a 1095 a form like a W2 from healthcare.gov and the tax people take care of it. I’m sitting with the tax people this year to help them with this tax reconciliation. So on Wednesdays at the Gato and on Thursdays at Marathon library I’m hanging out with the United Way Vita people and getting your taxes done for free.”

Wednesdays will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays will be 12:30 to 4:30.

Thomson said, “If you think of it come by. If I can’t see you right then and there, then we make an appointment, but at least we got to say hello, call me 877-553-7453 or come in.”

Thomson will also be at the Marathon Seafood Festival this weekend.

She said, “I’m so excited. This is a great festival. Lots of people come through, lots of great music, lots of great food. It’s going to be an amazing weather weekend. So yeah, I’ll be hanging out. I have my table. I have a spin the wheel. Come and get a prize and talk to me about what you have for health insurance. Even if you think you’re all set given the tax reconciliation piece, maybe we should take a look at your account and make sure that your income is correct for next year. There’s all kinds of things to do outside of open enrollment.”

For more information on affordable health care, click here.