TODAY: Registration Opens for Curative Second Dose COVID-19 Vaccination Events 

Events in each county planned for Delawareans who received their first vaccination on or before January 18 at state-sponsored vaccination events

Registration opens at 10 a.m. today on Curative website

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, the Division of Public Health (DPH), and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) announced that registration for second-dose Curative events in all three counties will open at 10:00 a.m. TODAY, Thursday, February 11.

Registration will be available here: 

Georgetown: https://curative.com/sites/25123

Dover: https://curative.com/sites/25081

Wilmington: https://curative.com/sites/25122

NOTE: Next week’s second dose events will be hosted from February 15-19 at Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) campuses in Dover, Wilmington, and Georgetown. The DTCC events are planned for Phase 1A-eligible Delaware workers and 65+ Delawareans who received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at state-sponsored large vaccination events. In total, 3,800 second dose appointments will be available. Anyone without proof of first vaccination on or before January 18 will be turned away from the vaccination events, even if they have an appointment.  

Delawareans who received their first vaccination on or before January 18 at an enrolled pharmacy or​ health care provider should contact their provider or pharmacy to schedule a second dose appointment before attempting to register for a state-sponsored event. The State of Delaware will allocate second dose vaccines to enrolled providers as close to the 21- to 28-day window as federal supply allows. Additional state-sponsored, second-dose events are expected to begin as early as February 20 for individuals who received their first dose at state-sponsored events.

“Our goal is to vaccinate as many Delawareans as possible, as quickly and equitably as possible,” said Governor Carney. “These second dose events will temporarily reduce our ability to expand access to first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. But we are making significant progress in vaccinating vulnerable 65+ Delawareans and front-line health care workers. That will help limit spread of COVID-19 and serious illness among our most vulnerable populations.”

Delawareans who lost their vaccination record card can request their immunization record by emailing vaccine@delaware.gov (subject line: Lost Vaccine Card). Please include full name and date of birth when requesting proof of COVID-19 vaccine first dose. Don’t have email access? Call 1-833-643-1715.

Learn more about Delaware’s COVID-19 vaccination program at de.gov/covidvaccine

Are you 65 or older? Sign up for the State of Delaware’s vaccination waiting list at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov. Delawareans also may call DPH’s Vaccination Call Center at 1-833-643-1715.   

Individuals with general questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211, or email delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  

Visit de.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on Delaware’s COVID-19 response. Find testing events and locations at de.gov/gettested.   

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Nominations for Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards Accepted Through March 14

DOVER (Feb. 10, 2021) – Nominations for the Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards are being accepted by the State Office of Volunteerism through March 14. These awards recognize the important contributions made by Delaware’s youth volunteers to their communities. Award recipients will be announced in late April.

To be eligible, the nominated individuals and group members must be 17 or younger during the time of service. Individual nominees must have volunteered a minimum of 100 hours and groups a minimum of 250 hours between January and December of 2020, although additional volunteer activity can also be highlighted to show long-term commitment. Volunteers will be honored in the following categories:

  • Individual: An exceptional individual 17 or younger who volunteers.
  • Team/Group: Two or more individuals who worked on the same project.
  • Emerging Volunteer Leader: An individual 17 or younger who has demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities.

“Every day, I see the passion and determination that young people throughout the state bring to the volunteer projects and the nonprofit organizations they embrace,” Governor John Carney said. “I’m especially grateful this year for these energetic young volunteers who have risen to the challenge of volunteering as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. In meeting the needs of their communities, they bring a fresh viewpoint and a willingness to serve. I encourage Delawareans to take the time to nominate a young volunteer who is making a difference in the lives of others.”

The Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards are sponsored by the Office of the Governor, the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of State Service Centers, the State Office of Volunteerism, and the Governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Service.

“I am inspired by and grateful for the innovation and commitment I see in Delaware’s young volunteers, especially as our residents struggle to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in their communities,” said DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik. “The spirit of volunteerism has never been more needed and alive. Please join us in nominating young volunteers who are making a difference by giving back.”

“Now more than ever is the time to engage our younger generation of volunteers, especially as we look for innovative ways to address the additional needs of our citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Renee Beaman, Director of DHSS’ Division of State Service Centers. “This is an opportunity to nominate youths who have developed initiatives in their own communities and helped to ignite volunteerism across all age groups.”

The nomination form is available at Volunteer.Delaware.gov. Nominators may also request a form by emailing Tina Gary at Tina.Gary@delaware.gov or calling 302-857-5014. Nominations that are not submitted online must be delivered by Friday, March 12, to the State Office of Volunteerism, Attn: Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards, c/o Tina Gary, Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover, DE 19901 or emailed to: DHSS_VolunteerDelaware@delaware.gov

For more information about the awards or volunteer opportunities, go to Volunteer.Delaware.gov or contact Suzanne Farris, Volunteer Services Administrator, at 302-857-5006 or Suzanne.Farris@delaware.gov.


Governor Carney Signs Legislation Raising Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)

Legislation sets target of 40 percent renewable energy by 2035

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 33, raising Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 40 percent by 2035. 

Click here to watch the virtual bill signing.

The legislation – sponsored by Senator Stephanie Hansen and Representative Ed Osienski – will raise the percentage of Delaware’s energy that must come from renewable sources through 2035 and help confront the impacts of climate change. Increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard also was a longtime priority of former Senator Harris McDowell

“Delaware is the country’s lowest-lying state, and climate change is already having a very real impact,” said Governor Carney. “This legislation will help accelerate Delaware’s transition to renewable sources of energy, which is good for our economy and our environment, and I’m pleased to sign it into law.”

“Extending and updating the Renewable Portfolio Standard involves a few complicated mechanisms but one simple idea: the energy future in front of us looks very different from the energy past that got us here,” said Senator Hansen, D-Middletown. “By encouraging greater use of renewable energy sources, we can simultaneously stimulate innovation, encourage job growth, push for cleaner air, and find new ways to lower energy bills for Delawareans. That’s reason to celebrate and to keep pushing for progress. I’m proud to have sponsored this bill, building off the work of Sen. Harris McDowell, and I thank the governor for signing it today.”

“Companies’ practices have taken a heavy toll on our environment for far too long. Especially here in low-lying Delaware, where sea level rise is a top concern, it’s critical we take action to protect our natural resources and prevent further ecological damage,” said Representative Osienski, D-Brookside. “Renewable energy portfolio standards have proven to be an effective solution to transitioning away from harmful fossil fuels toward clean, green energy like solar, wind and geothermal. Because we’re on-target to hit 25% by 2025, it makes good sense to establish new goals for our RPS program.” 

“Promoting the use of renewable energy is essential for continuing progress on meeting our targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which are driving the climate change impacts we are already experiencing in Delaware, including sea level rise, increased temperatures and more frequent and intense storms, droughts and flooding,” said Shawn Garvin, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).  

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Governor Carney, DPH, DEMA Announce Updates on COVID-19 Vaccination Program

State of Delaware announces plans to administer second doses

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) on Tuesday announced updates to the State of Delaware’s COVID-19 vaccination program, with a focus on administering second doses for Delawareans who received first doses at state-operated vaccination events in January: 

  • Later this week, the State of Delaware will open registration for second dose appointments for 3,800 people who received their first dose at the Dover DMV on January 16, 17 or 18 or Salesianum School on January 18. These events from February 15-19 will be operated by Curative at Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) campuses in Georgetown, Dover, and Wilmington. Registration will be done directly with Curative and individuals will be required to show proof of their first dose vaccination date when they arrive on site. Delawareans who have lost their vaccination card should email their full name and date of birth to vaccine@delaware.gov. For those without email access, call DPH at 1-833-643-1715. Anyone who registers but cannot show proof they received their first dose on January 16, 17 or 18 will be turned away. Only Moderna vaccines will be administered at the Curative/DTCC second dose sites.
  • The State of Delaware has requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stand up a vaccination site at Dover International Speedway for multiple days beginning as early as February 20. The FEMA site would be dedicated to vaccinating people who received their first dose at the Dover DMV January 16, 17 or 18; Salesianum School on January 18; at the Delaware City DMV January 22, 23 or 24; or at the Georgetown DMV January 23 or 24. Individuals will be required to show proof of their first dose vaccination date. Delawareans who have lost their vaccination card should email their full name and date of birth to vaccine@delaware.gov. For those without email access, call DPH at 1-833-643-1715. Pfizer and Moderna will be available at these events. Scheduling has not been confirmed for these events, and is contingent on FEMA approval of the state’s request. Additional information is forthcoming. 
  • DPH’s Community Health Services Section will partner with community organizations to deliver second doses to low-income seniors who received their first dose at Salesianum School on January 18 and may have mobility challenges or other barriers preventing them from attending a large event. Those individuals will be reached through community organizations.
  • Delawareans vaccinated at the Chase Center in Wilmington on January 30 also will be offered an opportunity to register for their second dose. Second dose registration has not yet opened for Delawareans vaccinated at the Chase Center

As it becomes available, second dose registration or scheduling information will be listed on de.gov/getmyvaccine and will be emailed to all eligible individuals the state has e-mail addresses for. As of Monday, February 8, the State of Delaware and its partners had administered more than 126,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer. More than 10 percent of Delaware’s population has received the first shot.

Delaware is in Phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination program. Delawareans aged 65+ and certain frontline workers are eligible for vaccination. Learn more at de.gov/covidvaccine.   

“We’re continuing to press forward with our goal of vaccinating as many Delawareans as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Governor Carney. “Supply of the COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government remains our biggest challenge. That’s why we’re focused this week on second doses, especially for vulnerable Delaware seniors. We have the capacity to increase vaccinations as federal supply allows. Until then, continue to wear a mask. Avoid gatherings. Stay vigilant.”

“Delivering second doses and first doses at the same time with limited supply of doses every week is a challenge, which is why we are targeting these Curative appointments and our partnership with FEMA to address individuals who received the first doses at our large events in January,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “As vaccine supply from the federal government increases, we expect it will become easier to receive first and second doses at pharmacies or from medical providers.”

Due to extremely limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine – and the large number of Phase 1B-eligible Delawareans who have not been vaccinated – the State of Delaware does not expect to open eligibility to all Phase 1C individuals on March 1, as the state had originally planned. The Division of Public Health (DPH) intends to begin vaccinating the most vulnerable, Phase 1C-eligible Delawareans as close to March 1 as possible – as federal supply allows. 

Learn more about Delaware’s COVID-19 vaccination program at de.gov/covidvaccine.   

Are you 65 or older? Sign up for the State of Delaware’s vaccination waiting list at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov. Delawareans also may call DPH’s Vaccination Call Center at 1-833-643-1715.   

Individuals with general questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211, or email delaware211@uwde.org. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  

Visit de.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on Delaware’s COVID-19 response. Find testing events and locations at de.gov/gettested.   

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Delawareans Will Have New Opportunity to Gain Health Insurance Through HealthCare.Gov from Feb. 15 to May 15

NEW CASTLE (Feb. 9, 2021) –Delawareans looking for affordable health insurance will have an additional opportunity to sign up for coverage – including tax credits for eligible enrollees that help to reduce monthly premiums significantly – from Feb. 15 to May 15 on HealthCare.gov, the federal online Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In light of the exceptional challenges and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, President Joe Biden signed an executive order Jan. 28 that created a three-month special enrollment period (SEP) to give Americans greater access to health insurance, including those who lost their job or their coverage as part of the fallout from the pandemic.

“Access to affordable health care remains a critical need for all Delawareans as we continue to fight the spread of the coronavirus. I am grateful to President Biden for giving state residents this additional opportunity to get the coverage they need,” said Delaware Gov. John Carney. “I encourage everyone to spread the word about the benefits of enrolling in coverage through HealthCare.gov during this three-month sign-up period.”

“This special enrollment period provides a great opportunity for Delawareans who are looking for high-quality, affordable health insurance, especially those impacted by the pandemic,” said DHSS Secretary Molly Magarik. “Despite the success of the Health Insurance Marketplace since it opened eight years ago, many state residents still lack insurance, and some might remain unaware that they can access comprehensive care – and, in many cases, get financial help to afford it – through HealthCare.gov.”

The marketplace’s annual open enrollment period for 2021 coverage ended Dec. 15, and since then individuals could get coverage only if they experienced a life event that qualified them to apply for a special enrollment period. The new three-month enrollment period is open to all eligible applicants who want to apply for coverage or change their existing coverage for any reason; applicants won’t be required to provide documentation of a qualifying event (e.g., loss of a job or birth of a child).

Individuals currently covered under a marketplace plan will be able to change to any plan available in Delaware without being restricted to the same level of coverage as their current plan. Current enrollees will need to go through their existing application and make any necessary changes then submit their application in order to receive an updated eligibility result.

Eligible individuals who enroll under the special enrollment period will have 30 days after they submit their application to choose a plan. Note that even after the special enrollment period ends May 15, individuals who experience qualifying life-changing events will be eligible to enroll for marketplace coverage. (It is also worth noting that proof of insurance is not required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, once your group becomes eligible.)

Delaware is one of 36 states that use HealthCare.gov for eligible residents to sign up for coverage. More than 25,000 Delawareans signed up for 2021 coverage during the recent open enrollment period.

The special enrollment period is available to all marketplace-eligible individuals who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. You can enroll in marketplace coverage at www.HealthCare.gov or www.CuidadodeSalud.gov or by calling 1 (800) 318-2596 (TTY: 1 855 889-4325).

Applicants will need to provide the following when applying for coverage:

  • Full names, Social Security numbers, and birth dates of all those applying for coverage
  • Legal documents for all eligible immigrants who are applying for coverage (i.e. Visa, Green Card, etc.)
  • Paystubs, W-2 forms, or other information about your family’s income
  • Information about any health coverage from a job that’s available to you or your family
    For more information, go to www.ChooseHealthDE.com.

About 6.6 percent of Delawareans remain uninsured, according to the 2020 America’s Health Rankings. That’s down significantly from the nearly 10 percent who lacked insurance in 2010 before the ACA and the Health Insurance Marketplace existed.

“For nearly a year, we have hoped that the Health Insurance Marketplace would allow for greater enrollment opportunities in response to the pandemic and economic conditions. President Biden has made it happen,” said Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “This Special Enrollment Period will help ensure Delaware residents have access to comprehensive health insurance that protects pre-existing conditions. And, because we’ve reduced rates by more than 19% over the past two years, these plans are more affordable for residents.”

Support from Congressional delegation

Delaware’s U.S. senators and representative urged uninsured or underinsured Delawareans, especially those who may have lost their jobs because of the pandemic, to find out what’s available for them on the marketplace during the three-month enrollment period.

“President Biden understands that it is critical for Americans to be able to access the care and coverage they need during an unprecedented pandemic. That’s why he’s beginning a new open enrollment period so that Delawareans, and families across this country, have another chance to enroll in a health insurance plan and get covered this year,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, who helped pen the Affordable Care Act that created the marketplaces. “Don’t leave your family’s well-being to chance. Enroll in an affordable, high-quality health insurance plan today that meets your needs and your budget.”

“I commend the Biden administration for reopening the federal online Health Insurance Marketplace, which will allow Delawareans, particularly those impacted by COVID-19, another opportunity to sign up for the health insurance coverage that best meets their needs,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons. “Ensuring that Delawareans have access to quality, affordable health care is critical, even more so during a pandemic. I urge all Delawareans who need health coverage to assess their options during this three-month special enrollment period.”

“As we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, and Americans are in need of affordable and accessible care, it is crucial that comprehensive health coverage is available to all those that need it,” said U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. “A special enrollment period is critical for allowing Delawareans in need of health insurance to sign up. I’m grateful to President Biden for reopening the Health Insurance Marketplace and ensuring that everyone who needs coverage has access.”

What’s covered

All plans on the marketplace offer essential health benefits such as coverage of pre-existing medical conditions, outpatient care (including telehealth services), emergency services, hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health and substance use disorder services, lab services, and pediatric services.

Marketplace plans can’t terminate coverage due to a change in health status, including diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19. The rules in marketplace plans for treatment of COVID-19 are the same as for any other viral infection; enrollees are encouraged to check their particular plan for complete information about benefits.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware is the sole health insurer offering plans on Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace for 2021. Highmark offers 12 plans for individuals and families. Two dental insurers – Delta Dental of Delaware, Inc. and Dominion Dental Services, Inc. – offer a collective 11 stand-alone dental plans on the marketplace.

Affordability

About 86 percent of marketplace enrollees in Delaware in 2020 were eligible for federal tax credits, which help reduce the cost of the monthly premium.

Tax credits are available for those whose household income is between 138 percent and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. For 2021 coverage, that’s between $17,609 and $51,040 for an individual, or between $36,156 and $104,800 for a family of four.

According to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the overall average monthly premium in Delaware in 2020 was $668, with the average premium reduced to $192 per month after tax credit. For the 86 percent of Delawareans who received financial assistance, the average premium after tax credit was $110 per month.

Plans on the marketplace are spread among metal-level categories – bronze, silver, gold and platinum – and are based on how enrollees choose to split the costs of care with their insurance company. Bronze plans have low monthly premiums but high costs when you need care; gold plans have high premiums but lower costs when you need care. In a silver plan, the insurer pays about 70 percent of medical costs and the consumer pays about 30 percent. For any marketplace plan in 2021, individual consumers can’t pay more than $8,550 in out-of-pocket medical costs and families can’t pay more than $17,100.

“Catastrophic” plans are also available to some people. Catastrophic plans have low monthly premiums and very high deductibles. They may be an affordable way to protect yourself from worst-case scenarios, like getting seriously sick or injured. But you pay most routine medical expenses yourself.

Consumers who pick silver health care plans might also qualify for additional savings through discounts on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. In Delaware, about 29 percent of current enrollees qualify for cost-sharing reductions.

Where to find help

Delawareans who want help enrolling in coverage will have access to free assistance from trained specialists at Westside Family Healthcare. Virtual and phone appointments are encouraged; in-person appointments are limited and must be made in advance. Because of the pandemic, walk-ins are not permitted. Assistance is available in any language and for all Delaware residents. Call 302-472-8655 in New Castle County, 302-678-2205 in Kent/Sussex counties or email enrollment@westsidehealth.org.

State-licensed insurance agents and brokers are also available to help individuals re-enroll and to help employers update their coverage, at no extra charge. See a list at ChooseHealthDE.com.

Medicaid

President Biden’s executive order also called for states to reexamine policies, such as work requirements, that restrict access to coverage through Medicaid, which pays medical bills for eligible low-income families and others whose income is insufficient to meet the cost of necessary medical services. This part of the president’s order does not affect Delaware, which under the ACA expanded access to Medicaid starting in 2014. More than 10,000 Delawareans have received coverage under the state’s Medicaid expansion. To be screened for eligibility or to apply for Medicaid benefits year-round, go to Delaware ASSIST.