Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: February 24, 2014
DELAWAREANS' STORIES ARE CENTERPIECE OF MARKETING CAMPAIGN FOR HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE; OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS MARCH 31
NEW CASTLE (Feb. 24, 2014) - The personal experiences of Delawareans who have enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance
Marketplace are the centerpiece of a new phase of a statewide marketing campaign that will run through March.
This second phase of the Choose Health Delaware campaign launched last fall coincides with the final weeks of open enrollment for
2014. March 31 is the last day to get health insurance or be subject to a financial penalty because of the individual mandate
through the Affordable Care Act.
In their own words, state residents describe what getting health coverage means to them and encourage fellow Delawareans who lack
affordable insurance to learn more about options available to them through the marketplace. Their testimonials will be used as TV
commercials, on billboards, in print and online ads, on social media, and in other materials.
Among the Delawareans featured are:
- Kristen Roach, 26, a University of Delaware nursing student from Wilmington who works two part-time jobs, including one in the
emergency department at Christiana Care. "At the ER I know what it's like to not have insurance because I see those patients all
the time," Roach says. "Having access to health care has always been something that I felt really strongly about, that everyone
should be able to afford and get health care if they want it and when they need it. So when I turned 26 and wasn't able to be on my
parents' insurance anymore, that was one of my top priorities."
- The Rev. Dr. Donald Morton, 44, of New Castle, speaker and social activist. Thwarted in his early attempts to enroll by
technical problems on the federal Healthcare.gov site last fall, Rev. Morton persevered and enrolled in time to be covered by Jan.
1. "I have gone uninsured for most of my life. I'm a former pastor, and being self-employed I didn't [have] health insurance
through the church. I had to pay for every doctor's visit and every premium myself out of pocket, and so this particular
legislation does incredibly well for me and my family."
- Janice Baker, 59, who with her husband owns and operates the Heavenly Hound Hotel, a dog kennel in Selbyville. Delaware's first
confirmed enrollee, Baker's marketplace coverage saves her $150 a month and reduces her deductible from $6,000 to $1,800 compared
to her previous insurance. "I feel that for many years I have been paying for a lot of other people who are just saying 'Oh, I'm
just not going to have insurance, because it's too unaffordable.' This is going to help everyone because everyone will have a
chance to have good coverage. I lost my sister because she did not have any kind of coverage that had preventative care. I think
that if she had had a policy like this, she would be alive today."
- Ray Holback, 53, a private chef who lives in Newark. He's grateful for the Affordable Care Act's ban on denying coverage to
those with pre-existing conditions. "I had an unfortunate scare with cancer about six or seven years ago and had to go through that
process without insurance. It was kinda difficult. I burned through all my life savings pretty much. I assumed I would be in the
poor house and paying the hospital for the rest of my life who's gonna take a cancer patient, you know?" With help from one of
Delaware's marketplace guides, he picked a plan "that fit my financial situation and best met my medical needs." Says Holback: "I'm
proud to live in a country that makes it possible for a person like me to get insurance."
- Maria Mendez, 47, a housekeeper from Dover. Her new coverage allows her to sleep better at night, she says. "Before, if my
children fell ill during the night, knowing that I didn't have coverage I couldn't sleep just thinking of what I might do the next
day if they got sicker. But now I feel happy and at ease. I can bring myself and my family to the doctor for all the checkups we
need." The state is continuing to hold special enrollment events through March 31, including "enroll-a-thons" at Delaware Technical
Community College, Wilmington University and several public schools. Check www.ChooseHealthDE.com for details and updates on these special events as well as on recurring
enrollment activities elsewhere. Delaware's marketplace guides will be available at many other locations throughout the state to
assist those who need help enrolling. To talk with a marketplace guide or assister, or to make an in-person appointment, call:
New Castle County
Brandywine Women's Health Associates, 302-658-8545 Christiana Care, 302-320-6586 Westside Family Healthcare, 302-472-8655
Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, 302-655-6187 Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, Inc., 302-365-8270
Westside Family Healthcare, 302-678-2205 Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, Inc., 302-365-8270
Westside Family Healthcare, 302-678-2205 Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, Inc., 302-365-8270 La Red Health Center,
Chatman, LLC, 302-685-2379
Through January, more than 5,000 Delawareans had enrolled in a marketplace plan and another 1,400 had enrolled through the
state's expanded Medicaid program. Secretary Rita Landgraf of the state Department of Health and Social Services will give an
update on enrollments at the next meeting of the Delaware Health Care Commission, scheduled for 9 a.m. March 6 at Delaware
Technical Community College's Terry Campus in Dover.
For more information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, go to www.ChooseHealthDE.com . To enroll, go to www.HealthCare.gov.
NOTE TO MEDIA: For videos or still photos, please contact Mike Cordrey at ab+c in Wilmington at 302-655-1552.
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.