Delaware receives conditional approval to switch to a state-run health insurance marketplace
The federal government has given Delaware conditional approval to use a state-run health insurance exchange for residents who get insurance through the Affordable Care Act.
Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Landgraf says the approval gives Delaware the freedom to consider a state run exchange. But she adds the state could face extra fees for use of the healthcare.gov platform and patient navigators if it moves away from its current state-federal partnership.
"Any cost that you add to this operation does then get passed on to the consumer. So that’s why we are not making a definitive decision at this point. We are doing our due diligence...We have to kind of budget all that out for both of those models to see what is the best posture for Delaware in supporting Delawareans,"she said.
At the same time, federal grant money provided during the first few years ACA implementation is going away, so it’s unclear how much costs will go up anyway if Delaware sticks with a state-federal partnership.
Delaware’s decision could be influenced by the U.S. Supreme Court’s impending decision in King v. Burwell - which challenges federal insurance subsidies in over thirty states, including Delaware.
Landgraf says she isn’t sure how that decision will directly affect Delaware or not, but adds protecting the 19,000 Delawareans registered for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is the state’s top priority.