ACA Enrollment Deadline Hits in Delaware - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

ACA Enrollment Deadline Hits in Delaware

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Things did not start off well in October for Delaware and every other state that used the federal healthcare.gov website to enroll people in health coverage. But over time eventually got better.

By December the major glitches on the site had been worked out. Delawareans were able to use it to get coverage. Enrollment numbers have been steadily growing since then.

Marie Butler, of Clayton, now has health insurance. For the past year, she didn't.

She originally thought coverage through Obamacare would be too expensive, until she spoke with a marketplace guide.

"I had seen the costs when she was showing me different plans. Every one I saw was $700, $800, $900. I thought, 'Wow, how can anyone afford that?'" Butler said.

Butler didn't realize she qualified for a subsidy. Her actual monthly premium was less that $100.

At last report, which was a few weeks ago, about 6,500 Delawareans had signed up for private coverage. Butler isn't included in that number. She's part of a surge of recent enrollments.

Exact numbers aren't out yet, but Delaware has at this point cleared a federally-set enrollment goal of 8,000.

Now, the state Department of Health and Social Services will start looking at how to improve on that number for next year.

"We believe that we ended much better than we began this process. Right now what we're looking at is what can we learn from this process of the first year," said DHSS Sec. Rita Landgraf.

Landgraf is upbeat about how things went. The Delaware Republican Party is not.

"Billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on Obamacare," John Fluharty, executive director of the Delaware GOP, said in a statement. "Five million Americans received cancellation notices. Only a small percentage of the uninsured have signed up. Is this really success?"

Initially, Delaware officials said they hoped to enroll 35,000 people this year. They backed off of that as it became clear it the total would fall far short.

Landgraf says she expects more people will enroll as the penalty for not doing so grows significantly next year and the year after.

DHSS will release newly updated enrollment numbers April 10.

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