ACA enrollment period begins in Delaware

Ebony Scott
November 4, 2018

There will be more direct enrollment options. That has led state officials to advise residents to sign up early.

The Affordable Care Act open enrollment began on Thursday, and if you want your health coverage to start in January, you have to sign up or re-enroll in a plan in the ACA marketplace by December 15.

"Because of changes with the individual mandate we will have to wait and see what Delawareans do, but we're encouraging everyone who is able to purchase and have insurance coverage to do so", said Walker. The legislation, also known as Obamacare, has become more popular with voters despite numerous repeal attempts.

"We're talking about how DE, in particular, could create recommendations to make sure we're protecting everyone to get coverage that they need and not be pushed into plans that really don't give them coverage, except maybe some catastrophic coverage", she said.

At the same time a number of state attorneys general are filing legal actions aimed at overturning the Affordable Care Act.

The state will formally mark the Health Insurance Marketplace's sixth enrollment period with a press event at 1 p.m. November 5 at Westside Family Healthcare's Northeast Wilmington Health Center, 908-B E. 16th St. Westside is the only organization in DE to receive federal funding for navigators to help people enroll for coverage either in person or over the phone.

Joshua Peck of the nonprofit Get America Covered which supports people enrolling in plans on the ACA marketplace says some of the alternative plans offered by private insurers don't have to cover pre-existing conditions. "That access provides a critical connection to quality care in our state and to better health".

The administration and Republicans in Congress say they are looking to assist those left behind by the ACA - people who don't get subsidies to help them buy coverage and are desperate for less expensive options - even if that means purchasing less robust coverage, Kaiser Health News reported.

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Enrollees can choose one of eight Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of DE plans that are available for purchase in 2019 or they will be automatically re-enrolled in a plan that is similar to the one they now have. While the ACA provides states the opportunity to seek a waiver under Section 1332, sometimes called the State Relief and Empowerment Waiver, they have been hard to obtain.

The cost of premiums in the 2019 ACA markets is projected to increase by 5.2 percent, a modest rise compared with last year's rates, which went up by as much as 45 percent, according to data released by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. More than 16,000 residents are covered through the DC Health Link individual marketplace and more than 77,000 people are covered through its small-business marketplace. That cost drops to $201 when subsidies and tax credits are applied.

"Families in Florida and across America have been aided every year by independent Navigators that help them find the best option for their health insurance". New to the mix of carriers this year is Oscar Health, which is offering competitively priced bronze and silver plans.

"A lot of the short-term plans exclude emergency services, majority exclude maternity care, some exclude hospitalization", Hattemer warns.

Two insurers - Delta Dental of Delaware, Inc. and Dominion Dental Services, Inc. - will offer a collective 11 stand-alone dental plans on the Marketplace.

The coverage rules will feature a significant change: People who previously faced a tax penalty for not having health insurance will no longer be penalized in 2019.

Most marketplace shoppers will qualify for financial help to lower their costs.

Among the more than 24,500 current enrollees, 77 percent are re-enrollees and 23 percent are new enrollees for 2018.

Other reports by GizPress

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