Premiums for health care plans in Delaware’s Affordable Care Act marketplace will fall for the first time.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware rates for ACA plans are set to be 19 percent lower in 2020. Highmark is the only insurer on the exchange.
State officials say the drop is a result of the federal waiver Delaware obtained earlier this year. It creates a high risk pool and gives consumers additional tax credits to purchase coverage.
Health and Social Services Secretary Kara Odom Walker said she hopes the lower premiums will encourage people who need health insurance to consider the ACA marketplace.
“Certainly some have been priced out of insurance options on the individual marketplace and this is just one more way we’re trying to improve affordability of health coverage so that more Delawareans are covered,” she said.
Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro said this stabilization of the ACA marketplace could lead to more insurers participating on the exchange.
“Because Highmark made money last year on the exchange last year, and again they’re entitled to, that it may increase competition moving forward,” he said.
The Delaware Department of Insurance negotiated a 6 percent drop in premiums this summer before the waiver was approved.