Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: December 16, 2013
DOVER (Dec. 16, 2013) - During the December meeting of the Delaware Health Care Commission, DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf presented an update on Delaware's health insurance marketplace, noting that 793 individuals have enrolled and paid their first month's premium as of Dec. 12.
Last Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 431 Delawareans had chosen an insurance plan through Nov. 30.
Secretary Landgraf said the uptick in enrollments showed the "positive momentum that Delaware is achieving" on its marketplace, and "a level of confidence that [HealthCare.gov] is becoming a more positive experience for consumers." Landgraf acknowledged that the enrollments of some Delawareans continue to be held up because of computer errors on the federal marketplace. DHSS, the federal government and Delaware congressional offices are working with individuals to resolve these errors and facilitate enrollment.
In order for coverage to begin by Jan. 1, Delawareans must enroll on the marketplace by the federally set deadline of Dec. 23 and must pay their first month's premium by Dec. 31. Landgraf urged Delawareans to confirm their enrollment with their chosen insurer by calling the company's customer service number.
To help Delawareans meet the Dec. 23 deadline, Delaware's four community guide organizations are hosting public enrollment events across the state. To find events or to seek help from a marketplace guide, go to www.HealthCare.gov.
Open enrollment on Delaware's marketplace will continue through March 31, 2014. To avoid a penalty on their 2014 taxes, individuals without health insurance must enroll in a qualified health insurance plan or be declared eligible for Medicaid coverage. The state estimates there are 90,000 uninsured Delawareans and expects up to 35,000 individuals to enroll on the marketplace, and 20,000 to 30,000 to be eligible under the expansion of Medicaid.
As of Dec. 12, Landgraf told the Health Care Commission that the enrollments of 2,950 Delawareans were flagged and returned to DHSS to determine eligibility for Medicaid/CHIP.
Insurance Commission Karen Weldin Stewart, who was to present the update with Landgraf, was in Washington and unable to attend the rescheduled meeting. The original meeting date had to be rescheduled after the threat of a snowstorm on Dec. 10.
Landgraf also updated the commission and the public on discontinued insurance policies, the Small Business Health Options Program, consumer assistance and marketing efforts, marketplace guide activity, and enrollment experiences from individual Delawareans. Secretary Landgraf will present her next update on Delaware's marketplace at the Jan. 9 meeting of the Health Care Commission.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.