Delaware Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act has made big changes in the way many people in Delaware access health insurance. Delaware has partnered with the federal government to create a marketplace for small businesses and individuals, Choose Health Delaware, and it has expanded Medicaid access for 2014 and beyond.
If you are currently uninsured or want to find out if you can get cheaper or better coverage, register on the marketplace website during open enrollment. After applying, you’ll know if you and your family qualify for Medicaid or financial assistance to help pay your premiums. Typically, subsidies are determined using 2013 federal poverty level limits, and Medicaid and CHIP eligibility are determined using 2014 limits.
When you finish the application process, you can compare plans and sign up for the best fit. Creating an account at Choose Health Delaware does not obligate you to enroll in new health insurance, but it is a way to learn about your options.
Delaware Medicaid expansion
In November 2013, the Kaiser Family Foundation published estimates indicating Delaware’s Medicaid expansion could double the number of people who qualify. Delaware already extended Medicaid coverage to 30,000 qualifying state residents with incomes at or below the federal poverty level in 2013.
Residents may qualify for health insurance subsidies, which come in the form of tax credits, to help offset insurance premiums. However, people with incomes below this level cannot get federal financial assistance unless their state expands Medicaid, such as Delaware. Twenty-seven states and Washington D.C., have expanded Medicaid.
Do you qualify for a Delaware health insurance subsidy?
In January 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation outlined ways the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion would help people in Delaware pay for health insurance. Subsidies can be immediately applied to premiums for plans purchased through the marketplace. If you have access to other medical benefits, such as an employer-sponsored or government plan, you may not qualify for assistance.
These subsidies can be immediately applied to premiums for plans purchased through the marketplace. If you have access to other medical benefits, such as an employer-sponsored or government plan, you may not qualify for assistance.
Additionally, qualifying adults with incomes of less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level — about $32,915 for a family of four in 2014 — may be able to enroll in Medicaid. The Children’s Health Insurance Program offers coverage to children of families that make less than 217 percent of the poverty level, or about $51,755 for a family of four.
Delaware residents who make too much to qualify for assistance can still sign up for a marketplace plan. People can decide if they would rather keep their old coverage or apply through the new marketplace. Private insurers sell marketplace plans, which are standardized in bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels.
Health insurers in Delaware
These are some companies offering marketplace plans or private plans in the state.
• Coventry One, a subsidiary of Coventry Health Plans
• Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
Delaware health and coverage statistics
Delaware population (2013): 925,749
Population 65 and older (2012): 15.3 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 75.4 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 160,500
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 151,800
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 93,900
Overall state health ranking: 31
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
Delaware health insurance resources
Delaware Department of Health and Social Services:http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/
Delaware Health Insurance Marketplace: http://www.choosehealthde.com/Health-Insurance
Delaware Department of Insurance: http://www.delawareinsurance.gov/
Delaware Healthy Children Program: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dss/dhcp.html
Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities: http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsaapd/index.html