If you need health care, now is the time to look

Trying to weed through all the details of options for health insurance can feel like an overwhelming feat. But ACA health insurance navigators are here to help.

Carolyn Thomson, an ACA (Affordable Care Act) health insurance navigator with the Epilepsy Alliance of Florida, joined Good Morning Keys this week on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM to talk about the importance of health insurance and enrollment.

It’s time for open enrollment for health insurance.

Thomson said, “Open enrollment assistance is available for free to Monroe County residents.”

As a federally certified health insurance navigator, Thomson is qualified to help applicants get enrolled in a health insurance plan.

The system can be a little confusing and the assistance Thomson provides can clear up the waters a bit.

Thomson said, “If you want coverage by the 1st of the year, then you need to enroll by the 15th of December, but open enrollment extends until January 15, so after December 15, any enrollment will start in February. Having health insurance is a very important thing, so plan accordingly. I only have so many slots in a day.”

Each person can talk to Thomson in person or over the phone. It can take some time. It includes personal information and financial decisions.

Thomson said, “Medical care is expensive. If you got hurt. I mean, everybody says I’m healthy, I don’t need insurance. What if you fell off your bike? They take you to the emergency room, you have to have an x-ray, you have to have bandages, that’s a $15,000 bill right there. Health insurance gives you a security blanket, so to speak. It’s a way to pay for these expenses when they’re needed. You get auto insurance in case you have an accident. The same thing for health insurance. In case.”

It also covers preventative medicine, so that can help as well.

If you’ve been worried about the confusion with selecting a health insurance plan, Thomson is here.

“Just to make it really clear, I don’t make commission off of this,” Thomson said. “I am not an insurance agent. I’m a navigator with the ACA. I’m here to help and it is free assistance.”

For more information, stop by the Gotto Building, 1100 Simonton Street, on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the Mount Sinai Key West Medical Center, 2501 Flaglar Avenue, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; or call 877-553-7453.

“I’m just hanging out trying to help people,” Thomson said. “I do the best I can to keep in touch with people.”