Enrollment in the healthcare marketplace (Obamacare) in Delaware rose by double digits in the early going, although reaching last year’s numbers may be difficult.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that Delaware is at 5,717 individuals enrolled through Nov. 18, according to Delaware Department of Health and Social Services spokesperson, Jill Fredel.
“At a similar point last year, we were at 4,701 enrollments through Nov. 19, 2016. That’s good, but we have only three weeks left of open enrollment vs. the nine weeks that remained at the same point last year,” Fredel stated.
Last year’s total enrollment was more than 27,500.
Similar gains in enrollment have been reported in other states.
The Trump Administration has been accused of attempting to kill off the marketplace program, which is a small part of the healthcare insurance system. Advertising for Marketplace enrollment was slashed by 90 percent, with the enrollment period cut in half.
Most people get insurance from Medicare, their employer or through the Medicaid program for lower-income families and individuals.
Marketplace applicants are typically early retirees, people with jobs or are self-employed.
Delaware is down to one insurer offering Marketplace insurance (Highmark) after Aetna exited the market. Enrollees for 2018 also saw a 25 percent increase in premiums.
The program has seen large losses, with critics claiming that Obamacare requirements such as allowing all pre-existing conditions to be covered are factors in the cost spiral.
More affluent people using the marketplace have also been critical of the program, since they do not receive the tax subsidies available to those with lower incomes.
At the same time, support for Obamacare has grown among the general public, with repeal efforts falling short. Efforts to repeal the tax penalty for not having health insurance are ongoing in Congress.
Enrollment is available at Healthcare.gov.