Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro officially announced Oct. 4 the final approval of the 2019 Affordable Care Act rates.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, the only insurer currently on the Marketplace, originally proposed a rate decrease of 5.8% for its 2019 individual Marketplace business. Navarro, ultimately approved a decrease of 19%, after the implementation of a state-run reinsurance program, the first decrease ever since the marketplace opened in 2013.
The approved decrease was a result of federal approval for Delaware to implement a state-run reinsurance program as established pursuant to the 1332 State Innovation Waiver Application. Under this program, individual market policies that meet certain minimum criteria, as set forth in the waiver, will be eligible for reimbursement from a state-administered fund. The fund will be financed through a 1% assessment on the individual, small and large group market premium amounts for all health insurance carriers operating in those markets in Delaware. The assessment will take place annually and may vary depending on the federal government’s actions on the Health Insurance Industry Fee.
“I am happy to announce the first rate decrease in Delaware since the beginning of the Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Navarro. “In spite of the many efforts in Washington to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, we have been able to work with our state counterparts and stakeholders to give Delaware policyholders much-needed premium relief. I thank Secretary Walker for the work she and her team at DHSS put into seeing the Waiver across the finish line.”
Because this year’s filing may result in lower costs for many consumers, the department urges consumers to examine their rates and reapply for coverage through the marketplace.
Presently, approximately 23,000 Delawareans have health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and may be affected by these rates.
Rate decrease will not apply to Delawareans on Medicare, Medicaid or those with group or individual policies outside of the marketplace.