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Delaware's ACA model could affect Obamacare repeal impact locally

Kaiser Family Foundation
A map of 2017 ACA plan types by state.



Delaware is one of only six states (including New Hampshire, West Virginia, Michigan, Iowa and Illinois)using the Affordable Care Act’s state-partnership model to offer Obamacare health insurance coverage.   


That could be good news for Delawareans if the ACA is repealed.

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The First State had the option of creating its own only Marketplace for Obamacare enrollment, but departing Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said it didn’t make sense.


“In Delaware, because of the size of our state, it was really cost-prohibitive," Landgraf said.


Instead, Delaware and some other small states took a unique approach of using the federal online platform - then tailoring other services locally.


“What was created was the hybrid that Delaware retains all the regulatory authority relative to the insurance products, that we engage consumers relative to educating consumers on the value of insurance," Landgraf said.


Landgraf says Delaware’s ability to retain local insurance policy control under the model could be a good thing if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, but adds any changes to how healthcare is paid for would create chaos.


Insurance commissioner Trinidad Navarro says there are too many unanswered questions right now to know for sure.


Navarro is focused on getting a grip on rising Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Obamacare rates.  His predecessor last year approved a 32.5% increase that’s locked in for 2017.


“A rate increase this high given the fact that for many folks, their health insurance has gone up over 100% over the last several years is really unsustainable for the people," Navarro said.


Navarro argues it’s not healthy for Highmark to control so much of Delaware’s health insurance market share – and says adding competition would help.



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