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Politics & Government

ACA sign ups were successful this year, despite the pandemic

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Nick Ciolino
/
Delaware Public Media

Despite a pandemic and attempts to tear down the Affordable Care Act, Delaware saw continued growth.

 

Over 25,000 Delawareans signed up for coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace this year—5 percent more than last year.

 

Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro thinks the Biden administration will be a great time to expand the program after so many cuts.

 

Navarro and ten other insurance commissioners sent a letter to the President-elect with a list of improvements that can be made to the health insurance system in the U.S. — including restoring funding to programs that help people sign up.

 

“The funding that was cut, the sign up period that was cut in half — all of these things were done intentionally. Advertising, things of that nature. So we’re hoping to bring back all of those parts of the ACA that will make it easier for people to sign up.”

 

Navarro says another easy thing that could be done in January would be opening a special enrollment period for people who’ve been affected by the pandemic, to let them enroll in an ACA plan if they lost their employer’s health insurance.

 

Navarro says more people are signing up because the markets have now stabilized, which means lower premiums.

 

“There’s still a percentage of the population who has chosen not to purchase insurance. And they’re taking a real gamble, taking a real chance. And these are the types of things that I hear from the community from time to time, people say they’re so expensive I can’t afford it. But take another look.”

 

Navarro says some people might not even realize how much the prices have changed since they last checked a few years ago.

Navarro says with so many people struggling right now, there’s no better time to improve access to affordable health care.

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