NEW CASTLE, DE — With more choice in plans than ever before, enhanced federal subsidies, and Delaware’s reinsurance program keeping the cost of monthly premiums relatively steady, enrollment on Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace for 2023 again set an all-time high, increasing 8% over the open enrollment total for 2022.
During Delaware’s 10th open enrollment period, which began on Nov. 1, 2022, and ended Jan. 15, 2023, a total of 34,742 Delawareans enrolled for health insurance on HealthCare.gov. During the previous year, sign-ups during the open enrollment period totaled 32,113. For those who enrolled by Dec. 15, 2022, and paid their first premium, coverage began Jan. 1, 2023. For those who enrolled by Jan. 15, 2023, and paid their first premium, coverage will begin Feb. 1, 2023.
“All Delaware families need access to affordable, quality health care,” said Governor John Carney. “This year, we celebrated the 10th year of open enrollment on Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace with more plans to choose from, helping to make coverage even more affordable. With record-breaking enrollment numbers, we know Delawareans are prioritizing their health. Thank you to all the community navigators and health advocates who helped us reach this milestone.”
“Marketplace plans play a crucial role in improving access to high-quality and affordable health care,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Molly Magarik. “I am thrilled to see a record number of Delawareans taking advantage of the many affordable options offered through Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace, and we are grateful to the community navigators and application counselors who worked hard during open enrollment to help individuals and families find the plan that was right for them.”
This year, Delawareans were able to choose from three insurers, compared to only one last year, and a total of 30 plans, the highest total in the 10 years of the marketplace. Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro announced in June 2022 that two new insurers – AmeriHealth Caritas (four plans) and Aetna CVS Health (nine plans) – would join Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware (17 plan options) in offering coverage on the marketplace for 2023.
All plans offer essential health benefits such as coverage of pre-existing conditions, outpatient care, emergency services, hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health and substance use disorder services, lab services, pediatric services, birth control and breastfeeding coverage, and COVID-19 vaccines, including the updated bivalent booster. In addition, coverage cannot be terminated due to a change in health status, including diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.
“Judging from the final enrollment numbers, it is clear that Delaware consumers appreciate being able to choose from a variety of plans at prices that are affordable,” said Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “Affordable, high quality health care is critical to Delaware consumers, and market stability and increased competition are key to helping provide consumer-friendly health insurance options in Delaware.”
The overall stability of Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace reflects continued federal approval of Delaware’s reinsurance program. The program has lowered health insurance premiums for plans sold in the individual insurance market by partially reimbursing insurers for high-cost health care claims through a fund that uses a mix of federal funding and assessments collected by the Delaware Department of Insurance from health insurance carriers. Because the insurers’ claims costs are lower, the insurers can reduce the cost of premiums or limit increases.
In 2021, the Biden administration made expanding access to health insurance and affordability a priority through the American Rescue Plan Act, which increased tax credits and expanded subsidies into the middle class. This year, the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act continued those enhanced benefits through 2025. For instance, a family of four (both parents in their 40s) making $50,000 are eligible for a credit of roughly $16,000, compared with $14,300 previously.
“Over a decade ago, when crafting the Affordable Care Act, we had one goal in mind: to make affordable, quality health care available to all Americans – and the marketplaces were vital to reaching that goal,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “Now, we are seeing enrollment numbers go up year after year, and more Delawareans are able to get preventative screenings at no cost and get access to health care services previously not afforded to them. I thank the hard-working navigators for their work enrolling uninsured Delawareans in plans that work best for their families, and I look forward to continuing our work to drive down health care costs for all Americans.”
“Over the past decade, the Affordable Care Act has made affordable, quality health care coverage a reality for millions of Americans,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “I’m proud to have worked with President Biden and my colleagues to strengthen the ACA in the American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act, further driving down costs for families, and am excited to see record numbers of Delawareans benefitting from this landmark legislation this year.”
“Ensuring that Delawareans have accessible, affordable, high-quality health care is critical to the health and well-being of communities across the First State,” said U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. “I am encouraged to see that this year a record number of Delawareans signed up for health care coverage through Delaware’s marketplace. This would not have been possible without the hard work of DHSS, Insurance Commissioner Navarro, and Community Navigators such as Westside Family Healthcare and Quality Insights that were on the ground guiding Delawareans and providing the resources they needed to find plans that fit them and their families best. I am grateful to be a partner in keeping Delaware healthy and remain as committed as ever in advocating for more affordable, accessible, high-quality health care for Delawareans in the 118th Congress.”
Delawareans who need help enrolling in coverage have access to free in-person assistance from federally funded and trained specialists at Westside Family Healthcare (statewide) and Quality
Insights, Inc., (New Castle and Sussex counties) and by certified application counselors at Henrietta Johnson Medical Center in Wilmington and La Red Health Center in Georgetown. Westside and Quality Insights each received increased federal funding for navigators to help people enroll for coverage.
“As a Federally Qualified Health Center, Westside understands how health insurance coverage reduces barriers to routine care and can save lives” said Lolita Lopez, President & CEO of Westside Family Healthcare. “Westside has provided enrollment assistance in the Health Insurance Marketplace since 2013, and we are thrilled with the record-breaking results during this open enrollment period. We commend the work of our state partners to reduce premium costs making coverage on the Delaware Health Insurance Marketplace more affordable than ever before.”
“We are very pleased to see a continued increase in those taking advantage of the affordable coverage offered through the Marketplace,” said Shanen Wright, Program Director of Quality Insights’ Navigator program. “And although 2023 open enrollment has concluded, we are available year-around to help Delaware residents learn more about their coverage options for 2024, or to enroll this year for those who become newly eligible through a qualifying event. We encourage anyone in need of information or assistance to reach out at qualityinsights.org/navigator or 1-844-238-1189.”
With the end of open enrollment on the health insurance marketplace, Delawareans can enroll for coverage if they experience a life event that qualifies them for a special enrollment period. Among the many qualifying life events are birth or adoption of a child, a permanent move, loss of other coverage through a job, and marriage or divorce. Visit HealthCare.gov/screener to see if you qualify.
In addition to the health insurance marketplace, some Delawareans might be eligible for coverage through Delaware’s Medicaid program, which is open year-round. To be screened for eligibility or to apply for Medicaid benefits, go to Delaware ASSIST.
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