Delaware’s reinsurance program kept the cost of monthly premiums relatively steady as enrollment on Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace (Obamacare) for 2023 increased 8% over the open enrollment total for 2022.
During Delaware’s 10th open enrollment period, which began on Nov. 1, 2022, and ended Jan. 15, 2023, a total of 34,742 Delawareans enrolled for health insurance on HealthCare.gov. During the previous year, sign-ups during the open enrollment period totaled 32,113. For those who enrolled by Dec. 15, 2022, and paid their first premium, coverage began Jan. 1, 2023. For those who enrolled by Jan. 15, 2023, and paid their first premium, coverage will begin Feb. 1, 2023.
“Marketplace plans play a crucial role in improving access to high-quality and affordable health care,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Molly Magarik. “I am thrilled to see a record number of Delawareans taking advantage of the many affordable options offered through Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace, and we are grateful to the community navigators and application counselors who worked hard during open enrollment to help individuals and families find the plan that was right for them.”
This time around, Delawareans were able to choose from three insurers, compared to one last year, with a total of 30 plans, the highest total in the 10 years of the marketplace. Two new insurers – AmeriHealth Caritas (four plans) and Aetna CVS Health (nine plans) – would join Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware (17 plan options) in offering coverage on the marketplace for 2023.
All plans offer essential health benefits such as coverage of pre-existing conditions, outpatient care, emergency services, hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health and substance use disorder services, lab services, pediatric services, birth control and breastfeeding coverage, and COVID-19 vaccines, including the updated bivalent booster. In addition, coverage cannot be terminated due to a change in health status, including diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.
The overall stability of Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace reflects continued federal approval of Delaware’s reinsurance program. The program has lowered health insurance premiums for plans sold in the individual insurance market by partially reimbursing insurers for high-cost healthcare claims through a fund that uses a mix of federal funding and assessments collected by the Delaware Department of Insurance from health insurance carriers. Because the insurers’ claims costs are lower, the insurers can reduce the cost of premiums or limit increases.
In 2021, the Biden administration saw the passage of American Rescue Plan Act, which increased tax credits and expanded subsidies into the middle class. This year, the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act continued those benefits through 2025. For instance, a family of four (both parents in their 40s) making $50,000 are eligible for a credit of roughly $16,000, compared with $14,300 previously.
With the end of open enrollment on the health insurance marketplace, Delawareans can enroll for coverage if they experience a life event that qualifies them for a special enrollment period. Among the many qualifying life events are birth or adoption of a child, a permanent move, loss of other coverage through a job, and marriage or divorce. Further information is available at HealthCare.gov/screener. qualify.
In addition to the health insurance marketplace, some Delawareans might be eligible for coverage through Delaware’s Medicaid program, which is open year-round. To be screened for eligibility or to apply for Medicaid benefits, go to Delaware ASSIST.