Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Date: December 30, 2014
NEW CASTLE (Dec. 30, 2014) - In the first month of open enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace, 8,956 Delawareans signed up for health care coverage by Dec. 15, the deadline for their coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2015, Secretary Rita Landgraf of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services announced today as enrollment numbers were released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Open enrollment on Delaware's Marketplace continues through Feb. 15.
Of the 8,956 Delawareans who selected a plan, 56 percent signed up for the first time through HealthCare.gov and 44 percent reenrolled in a Marketplace plan for 2015. Those percentages were slightly higher than the average of all states using HealthCare.gov, where 52 percent were new sign-ups and 48 percent were reenrollments. In addition, 2,219 Delawareans were determined or assessed as eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by the Marketplace.
"I am thrilled by this level of activity in the first month," Secretary Landgraf said. "We will be making a full report at the upcoming Health Care Commission meeting."
The Health Care Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Jan. 8 at the Terry Campus of Delaware Technical Community College in Dover.
About 83 percent of Delawareans who selected plans in the first month of open enrollment were determined eligible for financial assistance to lower the cost of their monthly premiums. That is up slightly from the 81 percent who received financial assistance during the first full year of open enrollment in 2013-2014. During that first year, 14,397 Delawareans selected a plan on Delaware's Health Insurance Marketplace.
Nationwide during the first month of open enrollment in the second season, more than 4 million people signed up for the first time or reenrolled in coverage for 2015.
Delaware's Marketplace Guides are available for those who need assistance in applying for coverage on the Marketplace. To contact a guide or for updates on the Health Insurance Marketplace, go to ChooseHealthDE.com.
Under the Affordable Care Act, most Americans are required to have health insurance or face a financial penalty, which will be assessed when they do their taxes each year. The penalty for not being covered in 2014 was $95 per person ($47.50 per child under 18) or 1 percent of annual household income, whichever is higher. (Only the amount above the tax filing threshold of $10,150 is used to calculate the penalty.) The penalty increases every year.
If an individual does not have health insurance coverage in 2015, the penalty will be $325 per person ($162.50 per child under 18), or 2 percent of annual household income, whichever is higher. Remember, in addition to the penalty, an individual or family who doesn't have coverage also will be 100 percent responsible for any medical expenses they incur. To determine your penalty, use the penalty calculator at ChooseHealthDE.com.
Key features of the Health Insurance Marketplace in Delaware for 2015 include:
Delawareans who sign up for coverage by Jan. 15 will have coverage effective Feb. 1.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' national enrollment report for Nov. 15-Dec. 15 is attached. National Enrollment Report
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.