Delaware health insurance marketplace getting Aetna/CVS and Amerihealth plans

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Three health carriers intend to offer Health Care Marketplace (Obamacare) plans for 2023– the most in the state’s history. AmeriHealth Caritas and Aetna CVS Health will join Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, in offering coverage.

Marketplace coverage is available for people between jobs, private contractors, or own and operate a small business that does not have group coverage.

“Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace is more stable than ever before, with rates steadying and enrollment at an all-time high. The hard work we have put into this program is paying off, with multiple new carriers planning to offer 2023 coverage,” said state Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “I look forward to the benefits that increased competition will bring to our residents, and to continuing to improve healthcare accessibility and affordability across the state.”

Delaware’s small size and population led to Highmark being the only carrier offering coverage in the state during most of the time coverage was available. Rates were also on the high side as insurers struggled to set rates in a state with a small population.

However, in the past few years as threats to the program subsided and a reinsurance program for those with big medical expenses went into place, rates declined 15%, while enrollment grew, Navarro stated.

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“Today’s announcement is a testament to both the needs of Delawareans who have increasingly signed up for coverage, and to the strong regulatory environment we have built, which has helped insurers go from taking losses to being able to cover their expenses and consumers’ coverage needs.”

The announcement comes as carriers submit initial rate filings proposals pursuant to federal deadlines. These will undergo in-depth reviews by independent actuaries before the Insurance Commissioner approves and announces them later this year.

Some Republican governors sued in an effort to end to the program and Republican legislators attempted to do the same. Those efforts failed, although a provision to make insurance coverage mandatory was dropped.

Also, the Trump administration cut the enrollment period and marketing efforts as part of what critics viewed as a backdoor effort to kill the program. The Biden Administration extended the enrollment period and made other moves to increase enrollment.

Meanwhile, support for the Affordable Care Act and Marketplace has increased over the years. There is widespread back for its provision that guarantees coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

The enrollment period runs from mid-fall to the end of the year. Coverage can be obtained during the year for a life-changing event such as the loss of employer coverage.

Challenges now include “junk insurance” programs with low rates and limited coverage in return for low premiums.

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