Mission Moments: Health insurance a passion for outreach specialist

Sylvia Brown lives insurance.

As an assister who helps community members sign up for insurance on the marketplace or through government channels, Brown knows when open enrollment comes around in the fall, she will be fielding lots of insurance inquiries.

“Off hours, after hours, weekends – you have to help when you get the call, so if it’s 7 or 8 p.m., that just means I’m hopping on the laptop to walk someone through it,” said Brown, who has been helping community members with marketplace enrollment since its inception in 2014.

After open enrollment began this fall, Brown received a phone call from a woman who was worried about the high cost of insurance premiums through her employer.

Brown walked her through why it was going to be more cost effective to stay with the employer’s health plan – but insurance can be complex, and she knew the woman would benefit from coming in after work to go through it in person. While she was at it, she helped the woman understand other benefit fundamentals, such as the difference between a health savings account and a flexible spending account – and how those could help her meet her health care goals.

“Even though I knew it wasn’t going to change the outcome and it was going to be a late evening, I wanted to take the time to sit with her and go through numbers with her so that she had peace of mind that she was making the right choices for herself and her family,” Brown said.

She makes her personal phone number easily accessible on social media – and has become a bit of the go-to guru on insurance for her family and friends as well.

Brown is so committed because she knows all too well the difference that insurance can make for a family.

“As a young single mother of small children, having to provide coverage by myself for my kids, there was one time my daughter jumped off the bed and cracked her head on the dresser,” Brown recalled. “I was so thankful I had budgeted to have insurance – so I know firsthand how important health coverage is and I also know there are so many consumers out there are in need of information.”

Tucson Medical Center earlier this year adopted a new mission statement. To celebrate, we are sharing an ongoing series of “mission moments.”

What are mission moments? They aren’t necessarily dramatic stories of heroism, although our medical staff saves lives every day. These are moments that breathe life into words – moments that are profound or powerful or touching and that remind us why we do the work we do. Hundreds of these reminders happen every day. Thank you for letting us share some with you.

Do you have a TMC mission moment you’d like to share? Send it to Communications@tmcaz.com.

Countdown to Open Enrollment: Get ready for 2015 coverage!

shutterstock_72416419Starting Nov. 15, Tucson Medical Center is ready to help consumers with renewing their existing health plan or choosing a new one, as the second year of the Affordable Care Act gets underway.

Although the open enrollment period runs through Feb. 15, current enrollees are encouraged to return to the Marketplace by Dec. 15, to make sure they are covered starting Jan. 1, since all benefits end at the close of 2014.

During this time, consumers can update their information to ensure that they will receive the right amount of financial assistance, and that they are still enrolled in the plan that best fits their needs starting Jan. 1.

To kick off open enrollment, Tucson Medical Center is taking appointments all day Saturday, Nov. 15, to help consumers update their current plan or enroll in a new one. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment only at the El Dorado Health Campus, 1400 N. Wilmot Road. Contact Sylvia Brown at (520) 324-4745 or Sylvia.Brown@tmcaz.com for an appointment.

Weekday and evening appointments are available. Additionally, other scheduled TMC enrollment events include:

  • Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    TMC El Dorado Health Campus
    1400 N. Wilmot Road, north of Speedway
    Appointment required: Contact (520)324-4745 or Sylvia.Brown@tmcaz.com
  • Saturday, Dec. 13, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    TMC El Dorado Health Campus, 1400 N. Wilmot Road, north of Speedway
    Appointment required: Contact (520)324-4745 or Sylvia.Brown@tmcaz.com
  • Saturday, Jan. 10, noon to 3 p.m.
    BEYOND Festival, Downtown Tucson, Armory Park, 221 S. 6th Ave
    Visit www.beyond-tucson.org for more information
  • Saturday, Jan. 17, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    TMC El Dorado Health Campus, 1400 N. Wilmot Road, north of Speedway
    Appointment required:  Contact (520)324-4745 or Sylvia.Brown@tmcaz.com
  •  Saturday, Jan. 31, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    TMC El Dorado Health Campus, 1400 N. Wilmot Road, north of Speedway
    Appointment required: Contact (520)324-4745 or Sylvia.Brown@tmcaz.com
  •  Saturday, February 14, 9 a.m. – noon
    TMC campus, 5301 E. Grant Road, west entrance
    Appointment required: Contact (520)324-4745 or Sylvia.Brown@tmcaz.com

Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461