Few Yet to Sign Up in Delaware for Coverage Under ACA

Nov 7, 2013

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - More than a month after the launch of Delaware's health insurance exchange, officials report only four Delawareans enrolled for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

As of Tuesday, Delaware's marketplace guide organizations reported four enrollments, 31 enrollment applications completed and 218 accounts created for possible enrollment.

Four community organizations were hired to provide marketplace guides, using a $4 million federal grant.

Brandywine Women's Health Associates in Wilmington reports three enrollments. Christiana Care Health Services in Newark reports one.

The Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care in Easton, Md., and Westside Family Healthcare in Wilmington both have yet to report a single enrollment, application, or account created.

State officials said Wednesday that enrollment has been hampered by problems with the federal website, and delays in background checks for marketplace guides.

Single Payer Considered

While the nation’s attention has been focused on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act website there was a quiet public hearing in Delaware’s Legislative Hall last night contemplating another kind of health care coverage.

That is a single-payer system in which the state and not private insurance companies would handle all health care costs.

It was introduced back in April but its author Representative Jon Kowalko (D-New South) wanted to hold the hearing outside of the legislative session which begins in January.

WBOC reports that under the legislation the system would be mainly paid for through a payroll tax for employers, federal Medicare and Medicaid money money as well as a personal income tax increase of 2.5 percent. 

There were a few questions from the public at the hearing but no one spoke against the idea.

If the legislation were to get approval in Delaware it would still be a few years away before taking effect.

Nationally, both the Clinton and Obama administrations discarded such an option focusing their attention on reforming the private sector.