First State gets additional federal dollars for reinsurance program
Delaware receives federal funding to improve access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance through its state-based reinsurance waiver.
Delaware is getting more than $10.8 million from the Biden Administration, and the state is one of 13 to receive these funds, available to states with approved waivers.
Under the reinsurance plan, a portion of high-cost health care claims that drive up insurance rates on the individual market are reimbursed through a fund using a mix of federal funding and assessments collected by the state Department of Insurance.
Steven Costantino is the director of health care reform for the Delaware Health and Social Services department. He says this federal funding is a big help to keep premiums down.
"When we receive this money it really is our ability to stabilize premiums to make the marketplace affordable for Delawareans and we really appreciate the extra money," he said.
Costantino adds the funding could also help next year.
"There's a potential that we will have more reduction in premium cost because this added money allows us to pay more in the reinsurance program than we currently are," said Costantino. "So we have the potential with the waiver that we would have even more of a reduction in premium than we've had in the past."
Delaware’s reinsurance plan was started in 2020 and is authorized through 2024. It helped lower premiums on the state Health Insurance Marketplace on average more than 19% in the first two years, though the state recently announced rates will increase 3% next year.
Costantino says without the program premiums would have most likely increased by 15%.