Health insurance in Delaware
Delaware’s health marketplace
Delaware operates its health insurance marketplace, Choose Health Delaware, in partnership with the federal government. Given the state’s small population, state officials deemed this model as most financially prudent. Additionally, Delaware expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Open enrollment for 2020 health plans has ended, although Delaware residents with qualifying events can still enroll or make changes to their coverage for 2020. The next open enrollment period, for plans effective in 2021, will begin November 1, 2020.
Read our full overview of the Delaware health insurance marketplace.
Delaware enrollment in qualified health plans
23,961 people enrolled in private individual market plans through Delaware’s health insurance exchange during the open enrollment period for 2020 coverage.
Highmark is the only insurer that offers plans in Delaware’s exchange. Highmark’s average premiums dropped by 19 percent for 2020, thanks in large part to the state’s new reinsurance program.
Delaware is among the states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, with expansion effective as of January 2014.
Enrollment in Delaware’s Medicaid and CHIP have increased by more than 23,000 people since the fall of 2013, before Medicaid expansion took effect.
Enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP continues throughout the year. Visit the Delaware Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance website for information about the state Medicaid program and the Delaware Healthy Children Program.
Read more about Medicaid expansion in Delaware.
Short-term health insurance in Delaware
Delaware limits short-term health insurance plans to three months in duration, and prohibits renewals.
Read more about short-term health insurance in Delaware.
Delaware health ratings
In 2019, the Scorecard on State Health System Performance ranked Delaware 27th in the nation for overall health. See Delaware’s scorecard for the state’s performance for a detailed look at its performance. Low percentages of uninsured adults and children and few at-risk adults without a routine doctor visit in the past two years were among positive indicators.
The 2017 edition of America’s Health Rankings put Delaware in 30th place. While a relatively low uninsured rate and strong public health funding bolstered Delaware’s overall ranking, several measures placed in the bottom half.
The 2016 edition of Trust for America’s Health also provides a wealth of public health information, but does not provide an overall score. See Key Health Data About Delaware.
Finally, you can see county-level health rankings for Delaware from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.
How has Obamacare helped Delawareans?
Delaware already had a lower-than-average uninsured rate prior to ACA implementation, with 9.1 percent of the state’s population uninsured in 2013 (as opposed to 14.5 percent nationwide). By 2018, the uninsured rate in the state had dropped to 5.7 percent, according to US Census data.
Total Medicaid and CHIP enrollment grew by 10 percent in Delaware from late 2013 through the end of 2019. Nationwide, Medicaid/CHIP enrollment increased by 26 percent during that time, even accounting for the 15 states that did not expand Medicaid. But Delaware’s average household income is higher than the U.S. average, so relatively few people in the state are eligible for Medicaid.
Medicare in the state of Delaware
Nearly 21 percent of Delaware’s population is enrolled in Medicare. Of the state’s Medicare beneficiaries, 86 percent qualify based on age alone while the remainder qualify due to disability.
Delaware residents can enroll in private Medicare Advantage plans instead of Original Medicare. But in 2017, about 11 percent of all Delaware Medicare recipients selected a Medicare Advantage plan, compared with 31 percent nationwide.
About 64 percent of the state’s Medicare enrollees selected a Medicare Part D plan for standalone prescription drug coverage, a number well above the 45 percent national average.
Read more about Medicare in Delaware.
Delaware health insurance resources
Delaware health reform
Scroll to the bottom of this page for a summary of recent state-level health reform legislation.
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.