Enrollment is now open for 2022 health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and it runs through Jan. 15 at www.HealthCare.gov.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware is the only insurer offering plans – 13 of them – on Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace.
Plans are offered in five tiers – bronze, silver, gold, platinum and catastrophic – and are based on how enrollees choose to split the costs of care with Highmark.
The choice of the plan, tax credits and financial assistance dramatically affect how much coverage costs for Delaware’s 30,000 marketplace enrollees. The overall average monthly premium in Delaware is $675, with the average premium reduced to $211 per month after tax credits, the state said. For the 81% of Delawareans who receive financial help, the average premium after tax credit is $119 per month.
“More than 20% of Delaware Marketplace participants were enrolled in a plan costing $10 or less a month in the past year,” Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro said in announcing the open enrollment.
For any marketplace plan in 2022, individual consumers can’t pay more than $8,700 in out-of-pocket medical costs and families can’t pay more than $17,400.
All that said, Highmark is raising premiums by an average of 3% for 2022.
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. Some Highmark plans include vision and dental coverage.
Signing up and getting help
Free in-person assistance is available from federally funded and trained specialists at Westside Family Healthcare (statewide) and Quality Insights (New Castle and Sussex counties) and by certified application counselors at Henrietta Johnson Medical Center in Wilmington and La Red Health Center in Georgetown.
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.
As usual, consumers are urged not to delay, even though many do: About 74% of Delaware’s enrollees signed up during the final three weeks of open enrollment in 2020.
In addition to the marketplace, some Delawareans might be eligible for coverage though the state’s expanded Medicaid program, which is open year-round. More than 10,000 Delawareans receive coverage under the Medicaid expansion each year.
These programs have helped to reduce Delaware’s uninsured rate from 10% in 2008 to 6.6% in 2019, according to the Census Bureau.
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