Open Enrollment For Affordable Care Act Begins in Delaware - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Open Enrollment For Affordable Care Act Begins in Delaware

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Open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act started on Tuesday and Delaware officials are making a new case to uninsured people to pick up a plan in the event of unexpected injury or sickness.

The state estimates there are roughly 54,000 people who don't have health coverage right now. Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said the agency is urging people who are not insured to get coverage before they are stricken with an illness, condition or injury that requires them to visit the hospital or a doctor's office.

"If you're waiting and you don't have health insurance and you become ill or you injure yourself or get into some type of accident then you are required to cover all those healthcare costs without the benefit of an insurance."

People who don't get insurance through the ACA marketplace or their employer, a private plan, or elsewhere, face a financial penalty of 2.5 percent of their annual household income or $695 per person, with $347.50 per child under 18, depending on which is greater.

Additionally, rising premium costs for marketplace plans have drawn concern from some coverage holders. For instance, rates will increase an average of more than 32 percent for Highmark plans, according to the state.

The federal government also says 63-percent of Delawareans who have marketplace plans could get 2017 coverage for a monthly premium of $100 or less after tax credits,

Mary Shaffer, a federal certified navigator with Chatman LLC who's been helping people sign up for the plans under the Affordable Care Act for four years, said she'll spend whatever time needed to help people get insured if they're not already covered.

"(I'll be there) to answer their questions and to hopefully get them enrolled and signed up because health insurance is really important for peoples lives," she said.

For more information about the plans offered through the Affordable Care Act in Delaware, visit ChooseHealthDE.com.

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