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Delaware health insurance

Delaware earns Top 10 health rating as ACA expands coverage

The health status of residents as well as prevailing political attitudes about access to care and medical insurance coverage can affect your perception of a state. Find out what factors may shape your opinion of Delaware with this summary of public health rankings and health care reform.

Delaware health ratings

Delaware is ranked 10th by the Scorecard on State Health System Performance 2014, up from 13th in the 2009 rankings. The scorecard compares a large range of health indicators to arrive at an overall score for each state and the District of Columbia. See Delaware’s Scorecard for the state’s performance on individual measures.

America’s Health Rankings from 2013 give Delaware a much lower rating of 31, up one spot from its 2012 rankings.

The Scorecard on State Health System Performance and America’s Health Rankings evaluate different indicators. America’s Health Rankings consider more prevention and treatment indicators, on which Delaware received generally high rankings. That difference helps explain the disparity in the overall scores between the two evaluations.

The 2014 edition of Trust for America’s Health also provides a wealth of public health information, but does not provide an overall score. See Key Health Data About Delaware.

Finally, you can see county-level health rankings for Delaware from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

Delaware and the Affordable Care Act

In 2010, Delaware’s U.S. senators both voted “yes” on the Affordable Care Act while the state’s lone representative voted against the law.

Gov. Jack Markell supported the passage of the Affordable Care Act and spoke out to applaud the June 2012 Supreme Court decision that upheld most provisions of the ACA. Shortly after the Court’s ruling, Markell announced the state’s plan to operate its health insurance marketplace as a partnership with the federal government.

While some states chose the partnership model as a stepping stone to a state-run marketplace, Delaware opted for a partnership model as the best balance between control and cost given its small population and potential market size.

How the ACA is helping Delawareans get medical insurance

According to a January 2014 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the state’s decision to expand Medicaid under the ACA means about 29,500 of Delaware’s 72,000 uninsured residents (41 percent) qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Another 15,840 uninsured residents (22 percent) are eligible for premium tax credits to help them purchase health insurance through the marketplace.

Delaware enrollment in QHPs

In Delaware, 14,087 people enrolled in a qualified health plan (QHP). At 29.1 percent, Delaware ranked 15th among the states and the District of Columbia in terms of the percentage of the estimated total market that actually signed up for QHPs during 2014 open enrollment.

State residents enrolling in QHPs could choose from 19 health plans from two insurers – Highmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield and Coventry – for the 2014 plan year.

Delaware Medicaid/CHIP

Delaware is among the states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. More than 11,200 Delawareans were deemed eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) during the ACA’s initial open enrollment. Enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP continues throughout the year.

Visit the Delaware Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance website for information about the state Medicaid program and the Delaware Healthy Children Program.

Other ACA reform provisions

While Delaware has embraced many aspects of the Affordable Care Act, no organization in the state engaged in the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) Program. The CO-OP program offered loans totaling nearly $2 billion to encourage the startup of nonprofits to increase competition in the individual and small-group insurance markets. See the states in which CO-OPs are operating.

Delaware health reform

Here’s what’s happening legislatively with healthcare reform in Delaware: