delaware guide to health insurance

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Delaware health insurance exchange

14,000 from Delaware enroll in QHPs, 11K eligible for Medicaid

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Obamacare enrollment in Delaware has ended for 2014. However, people who get married or divorced, change jobs, have a child or experience another qualifying event may be eligible for a special enrollment period. Guides are available to assist those who qualify for a special enrollment period.

Enrollment for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) continues throughout the year. Individuals who don’t have health insurance that provides “minimum essential coverage” may have to pay a penalty: $95 or one percent of income, whichever is greater.

Open enrollment for 2015 coverage through the marketplace begins Nov. 15. Choose Health Delaware is the state’s health insurance marketplace, which is operated in partnership with the federal government. While several states adopted a partnership exchange as an incremental step toward an eventual state-run exchange, Delaware is unlikely to go that route according Rita Landgraf, cabinet secretary of the state Health and Social Services department. Delaware may, however, consider a regional partnership in the future, whereby the state would partner with one or more other states. A regional partnership would spread administrative cost over a wider population and increase the size of the risk pool.

Sign-ups for qualified health plans (QHPs) in Delaware grew 115 percent to 14,087 in the final weeks of 2014 open enrollment. In addition to those who signed up for private health insurance, 11,200 people qualified for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Among Delaware residents selecting a QHP, 81 percent qualified for financial assistance, compared to 85 percent nationally. A report released in June by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed the average monthly premium, after subsidies, for Delaware consumers was $130. That’s the third-highest average among states using the federal marketplace.

Sixteen percent of Delaware residents selected a bronze plan (20 percent nationally), 59 percent selected a silver plan (65 percent nationally), 17 percent selected a gold plan (9 percent nationally), 6 percent selected a platinum plan (5 percent nationally) and 2 percent selected a catastrophic plan (2 percent nationally). Twenty-four percent of Delaware enrollees were between the ages of 18 and 34.

Delaware is delaying the launch of employee choice on the small business or SHOP exchange. “Employee choice” allows employees of small businesses that use the SHOP to select from a range of plans rather than being limited to a single plan selected by their employer. The federal government let states that use the federal marketplace choose if they want to implement employee choice for 2015. Delaware is one of 18 states that is delaying implementation of employee choice.

Delaware health insurance exchange links

Choose Health Delaware

Health Benefit Exchange information
Exchange information from the Delaware Health Care Commission

Who Serves on the Delaware Health Care Commission?

State Exchange Profile: Delaware
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Delaware’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.