Fewer Delawareans have enrolled in Affordable Care Act plans so far this year.
Delaware Department of Health and Social Services said ACA plan enrollments are currently down 16 percent compared with last year.
DHSS Secretary Kara Odom Walker said it’s hard to know exactly why there’s a drop, but this is the first year Delawareans won’t face a fine for failing to have health insurance.
The Trump administration also sharply cut funding to advertise the open enrollment period.
“You know, we had $600,000 in funding last year and now we have $100,000 dollars for only one organization to do outreach," she said. "So that’s challenging.”
Walker said they are working with Westside Family Healthcare to help people sign up for health coverage.
“There’s no national marketing happening to remind people that open enrollment is going on now through December 15th," she said. "We’ve been doing a lot to get the word out using less funds than we have in the past.”
So far 5,754 Delawareans have signed up for coverage in the state’s ACA marketplace since open enrollment started November 1.
Walker notes many people do wait until the last minute minute to sign up and many are automatically re-enrolled in plans.