DE Health Insurance Marketplace Kicks Off Campaign For Uninsured - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

DE Health Insurance Marketplace Kicks Off Campaign For Uninsured

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DELAWARE - In less than one month, the doors will open for thousands of people across the nation who don't have access to health insurance. But many people still have questions. How do you purchase a plan that's affordable? Where do you go to get it? Tuesday, the state of Delaware kicked off its campaign to help answer those questions.

Gia Cotman was just one of 90,000 Delawareans who don't have health insurance. But now, she's working for Brandywine Women's Health Associates as a marketplace guide for President Obama's affordable healthcare program.

The marketplace is an exchange set up in each state, where individuals, families and small business owners can essentially shop for affordable health insurance.

"We've got lots of options through our exchange, and we believe that we'll have products that will entice consumers to actually get health insurance," Chief Medical Officer for Christiana Care Health System Janice Nevin said.

If you don't get on a plan by the March 31, 2014 deadline, you'll have to pay a penalty.

"We do recognize that some people will say I'm just not going to enroll just yet. I'll take my chances and I'll pay the penalty. But again, when you think about car insurance, you don't wait for the accident before you actually get the car insurance," Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said.

Sixty-eight marketplace guides will branch out all across the First State as a part of the Choose Health Delaware campaign. Enrollment officially opens October 1st.

"We're going to different events in the community, health fairs, churches, small businesses and schools. At this point, it's just to educate people and spread awareness. We're going to be doing a lot in the community and talking to people, and just making sure everyone is aware that they have this opportunity to get insurance," Cotman said.

Thirty-five thousand Delawareans are expected to sign up through the marketplace in the first year. The state expected 30,000 Delawareans to be eligible under the Medicaid expansion approved by Governor Markell last year. The Medicaid income eligibility will move from 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to a maximum of 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level on Jan. 1, 2014.

If you're worried you won't be able to afford any of plans through the exchange, you may be eligible for federal tax credits.

For people like Gia, the risk of not having insurance was not worth it.

"If something were to happen, if you were to go to the emergency room, you would end up spending so much more money than you would be spending if you were to pay for the affordable healthcare," she said.

To receive coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014, you must enroll by December 15, 2013.  

For more information on health insurance reform, and to find an affordable plan that works for you, go to www.choosehealthde.com.

 

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