Health insurance marketplace enrollment opens

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Enrollment is underway at Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace The program is entering its 11th year.

The marketplace’s open enrollment period ends on Jan. 15, 2024. Consumers can renew existing coverage or sign up for a new plan at www.HealthCare.gov. Coverage for enrollees who sign up by Dec. 15 and pay their first month’s premium will be effective Jan. 1.

The marketplace is used by people without group insurance coverage or those between jobs. Solopreneurs with no employees also can obtain coverage through the marketplace.

Individuals who don’t act by Jan. 15, 2024, cannot get coverage for 2024 unless they qualify for a special enrollment period based on circumstances such as a loss of qualifying health coverage, change of income, becoming a parent, or other qualifying factors.

Delawareans have four insurers available, one more than the year prior, and a total of 55 plans compared to 30 plans last year. Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro announced in June that a new insurer – Celtic Insurance Company Ambetter Health of Delaware – would join Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware, AmeriHealth Caritas, and Aetna CVS Health in offering coverage on the marketplace for 2024.

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Plans on the marketplace are spread among metal-level categories – bronze, silver, gold, platinum and catastrophic – and are based on how enrollees choose to split the costs of care with their insurance company. Bronze plans have low monthly premiums but high costs when you need care; gold plans have high premiums but lower costs when you need care. In a silver plan, the insurer pays about 70% of medical costs and the consumer pays about 30%. Consumers who pick silver health care plans might also qualify for additional savings through discounts on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

For 2024:

  • Aetna CVS Health will offer six plans – two gold and four silver.
  • AmeriHealth Caritas will offer seven plans – one gold, three silver, one bronze and two expanded bronze.
  • Celtic/Ambetter Health of Delaware will offer 24 plans – eight gold, eight silver, and eight expanded bronze.
  • Highmark will offer 18 plans – three platinum, six gold, three silver, five bronze, and one catastrophic.
  • Two dental insurers – Delta Dental of Delaware, Inc. and Dominion Dental Services, Inc. – will offer a collective 12 stand-alone dental plans on the marketplace seven with a low actuarial level (pay less monthly, but more when you get dental services) and five with a high actuarial level (pay more monthly, but less when you get dental care). Delta Dental will offer two plans, one high and one low, while Dominion Dental will offer 10 plans, four high and six low.

“As recently as the 2022 plan year, Delawareans had just one insurer and 12 plan options to choose from. This Open Enrollment, you’ll find four carriers and more than 50 plan options. Improving health care accessibility and affordability across our state is one of my top priorities, and I’m proud that our work has led both options and enrollments to an all-time high,” said Insurance Commissioner Navarro. “I encourage you to contact your trusted navigators so you can find the right plan for the coming year.”

All plans on the marketplace 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. In addition, coverage cannot be terminated due to a change in health status.Assistance for Delaware enrollees

Consumers can go to HealthCare.gov or CuidadodeSalud.gov now to explore their options for 2024 coverage, and they can enroll anytime between Nov. 1 and Jan. 15, 2024.

Delawareans who need help enrolling in coverage will have access to free in-person assistance from federally funded and trained specialists at Westside Family Healthcare (statewide) and Quality Insights, Inc., (New Castle and Sussex counties) and by certified application counselors at Henrietta Johnson Medical Center in Wilmington and La Red Health Center in Georgetown. Westside and Quality Insights each received increased federal funding for navigators to help people enroll for coverage.

State-licensed insurance agents and brokers are also available to help individuals re-enroll and to help employers update their coverage, at no extra charge.

For more information, go to www.ChooseHealthDE.com. Delawareans can enroll in marketplace coverage at HealthCare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

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