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Delaware preparing for launch of health insurance exchanges

Delaware residents will soon learn what plans available under the state and federal health insurance exchange going into effect beginning in October.

State health officials are waiting for the federal government to sift through plans proposed for Delaware’s health insurance exchange.

The Insurance Commissioner’s office worked with three providers to submit several plans earlier this year. Each of those companies had to offer at least three pricing levels of insurance for customers.

Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart says she can’t reveal the exact number of plans they submitted, but adds they will be available by the time open enrollment starts on October 1st.

“If everything stays on track, although the federal government hasn’t always been on track time-wise, we should have them up on our websites and wherever they want them posted by the end of September,” said Stewart.

The exchange is part of implementing the Affordable Care Act in Delaware, which is partially partnering with the federal government to run the exchange.

Another provision on its way forbids insurance companies from denying coverage for people with preexisting conditions. Stewart says that’s critical to the ten percent of Delawareans who aren’t insured, sometimes because they’re retired, but not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.

“So because of that, they’re stuck in this vacuum where there is no insurance offered if you have a preexisting condition. So that starts January 1.”

State officials will soon launch media campaigns and web materials to educate residents on the law’s requirements.