Governor’s Office Statement on Passage of H.R. 4414 by the U.S. House of Representatives

Wilmington, DE – Below is a statement from the Governor’s office on the passage of Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (H.R. 4414) by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill clarifies the Affordable Care Act does not apply to expatriate health insurance plans, such as those plans offered by Cigna, which employs hundreds of Delawareans working on these plans.

“The Governor has been working with Cigna for several years on making sure that expatriate insurance plans are treated fairly under the ACA and that Cigna’s business stays and can grow in Delaware. This situation is about jobs, and the Governor commends the tireless efforts by Representative Carney, Senator Carper, and Senator Coons, who have all worked incredibly hard to find a solution that fairly supports the workers who manage these plans. As the Governor has emphasized to the Obama administration on numerous occasions, it does not make sense to treat expatriate insurance plans managed from Delaware the same as domestic insurance plans. The bill that passed today particularly reflects Representative Carney’s commitment to resolving this issue and it represents another important step toward preventing our insurers from being put at a competitive disadvantage overseas, while protecting jobs.”

 

###


Commissioner Stewart Announces That Non-Compliant Health Plans Cannot Be Extended in Delaware

Dover, DE–Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart announced today that the recent Obama administration decision to allow for the two-year extension of health plans that are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not apply to the state of Delaware, as per state law.

Commissioner Stewart stated, “Delaware law, as currently written, does not allow for the extension of non-compliant health plans after January 1, 2014. Furthermore, allowing the two-year extension of previously cancelled and non-compliant plans has the potential to raise premiums for everyone and could disrupt the market in Delaware.”

House Bill 162 with House Amendment 1 was passed in 2013 by the 147th General Assembly to bring the Delaware code into compliance with the ACA. The law applies to all individual and group health insurance contracts, as applicable, issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2014.

On November 14, 2013 the Obama administration provided insurers the option, if permitted by their state, to renew their current policies, for one year, for current enrollees without adopting all of the 2014 market rule changes. On November 25, 2013, Commissioner Stewart announced that an agreement had been reached with carriers to offer early renewals for cancelled or non-compliant policies that were to end on, or before, March 31, 2014.

Consumers that were affected by that agreement had until December 31, 2013 to renew their policy. Consequently, any individuals that renewed their policy for one year by December 31, 2013 will not be affected by this new announcement.

Commissioner Stewart further stated, “I would like to take this opportunity to remind consumers who do not have health insurance coverage that the open-enrollment period to sign up for a new plan will close on March 31, 2014. Individuals who do not have health insurance after this date may be subject to a tax by the IRS next year. Many individuals may qualify for subsidized plans through the Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace, Choose Health Delaware. Plans are also offered outside the marketplace but they are not eligible for federal subsidies to help offset the cost, if you qualify for assistance.”

Please note that the Delaware Department of Insurance does not run the state’s Health Insurance Marketplace, Choose Health Delaware. Individuals with questions about subsidies and plans offered through the marketplace should visit www.choosehealthde.com or call 1-800-318-2596.

For more information about health insurance please visit the Delaware Department of Insurance website at www.delawareinsurance.gov.

###

Delaware Department of Insurance: “Protecting Delawareans through regulation and education while providing oversight of the insurance industry to best serve the public.”


Consumer Alert: Commissioner Stewart Provides Recommendations for Confirming New Health Insurance Coverage

Dover, DE – Complications within health insurance marketplaces have created challenges for some new enrollees who have not yet received proof of their insurance coverage. As a result, some consumers are unsure if their medical treatments are covered. If you recently purchased a plan, but still haven’t received proof of insurance from your insurance company, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the Delaware Department of Insurance have some tips for confirming coverage.

Since open enrollment began on October 1, insurance companies have encountered multiple problems that have prevented the companies from being able to enter new members into their systems. Some companies received incomplete or incorrect information from the insurance marketplaces. Other companies were overwhelmed with the number of applications they received and were unable to process them by the time the new plans went into effect. This delay in providing proof of coverage has many consumers worrying if they really have insurance and wondering what to do next.

Contact the Company
The first thing you should do is contact your insurance company to verify that you do have insurance coverage. Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart stated, “The insurance company will be able to verify if you are indeed enrolled in a plan or not. Some people signed up for a plan but never paid the premium so be sure to discuss your payment. And, of course, ask your insurance company for proof of coverage, such as an insurance card or identification numbers. Many insurance companies have a website, which, after setting up your account, will allow you to print a temporary ID card.”

When you speak to your insurance company, take detailed notes of the conversation. Include the date and time that the conversation took place, and the name of the representative. Hold on to copies of any written communication you received from your insurance company such as emails or letters as you may need these materials later. You should also verify that you have paid your first premium on time. Some insurers have permitted late payments for coverage that is retroactively effective to January 1, 2014. Find out your insurer’s deadline and keep any records that can serve as proof of payment.

If you have yet to purchase coverage but are planning on buying insurance through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, www.healthcare.gov, print out any paperwork or confirmations that you receive during the enrollment process. If you do not have a printer save digital copies of forms or take “screenshots” of any confirmation numbers or account numbers. It never hurts to e-mail those digital forms to yourself so you can access them from anywhere or in case something happens to your computer.

Payment Options
You may need to get a prescription filled or see your doctor before you receive your insurance card. Your provider (hospital, doctor, pharmacy) may be able to verify your coverage by contacting your insurer directly. If verification of coverage cannot be obtained, you still have options. One option is to pay for expenses out of pocket. Once your insurance coverage is established, your insurance company should reimburse you to the extent that the service or medication is covered under your policy. You may also be able to work with your doctor’s office, hospital or pharmacy to delay payment or set up a payment plan until they can verify that you’re insured. Keep your receipts and any bank statements that show that you’ve paid for the services. It can sometimes be easier to track purchases made with a debit or credit card as opposed to cash.

More Information
If you have questions about your health insurance options visit www.delawareinsurance.gov for more info and links. You can also visit Delaware’s Health Insurance Marketplace, www.choosehealthde.com. Individuals have until March 31, 2014 to enroll in a health insurance plan in order to meet the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate” without incurring a penalty, or fee, from the IRS. For more info about penalties and subsidies please visit www.healthcare.gov.

###

Contact: Marla Blunt-Carter
(302) 577-5259
Marla.Blunt-Carter@delaware.gov

Delaware Department of Insurance: “Protecting Delawareans through regulation and education while providing oversight of the insurance industry to best serve the public.”


Insurance Commissioner Stewart Announces an Agreement with Carriers in Delaware to Extend Cancelled Policies

DOVER – As a result of President Obama’s federal waiver, Commissioner Stewart entered into a dialogue with the health insurance carriers in an effort to provide earlier renewals of existing health insurance plans. The Commissioner is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with the carriers to offer early renewals for current policies whose term of coverage was to end on or before March 31, 2014. Commissioner Stewart is very concerned with individuals that may be in a position of being without any coverage as a result of the inability to renew these policies. Commissioner Stewart stated that she is, “very happy that the carriers have agreed to provide an early renewal opportunity for these policyholders.”

Consumers that are affected by this agreement and take advantage of this option must renew their policy on or before December 31, 2013. All policies with an effective date after January 1, 2014 must be in compliance with Delaware law. The carriers have indicated that individuals with questions regarding their policies should direct those questions to their agent or broker.

###

 

DOI Seal
Delaware Department of Insurance Seal

“Protecting Delawareans through regulation and education while
providing oversight of the insurance industry to best serve the public.”

http://www.delawareinsurance.gov/

Contact: Marla Blunt-Carter
(302) 577-5259
Marla.Blunt-Carter@delaware.gov


Department of Insurance Reaches Tentative Agreement with One Carrier and Continues Discussions with Other Carriers to Offer Renewal Opportunities for Policyholders with Terminated Coverage

NEWS FROM THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Department of Insurance Reaches Tentative Agreement with One Carrier and Continues Discussions with Other Carriers to Offer Renewal Opportunities for Policyholders with Terminated Coverage

DOVER– In order to assist individual and small group policyholders whose current coverage is being terminated between January 1, 2014, and March 31, 2014 because it is not compliant with the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Insurance has reached tentative agreement with one carrier and is in ongoing conversation with remaining carriers to provide opportunities for policyholders to renew their existing coverage.

Even those who had previously been offered this option and did not opt to utilize it will be provided an additional opportunity to renew the existing policy. While the details are still being developed, these offerings will not preclude the opportunity to enroll/purchase an ACA-compliant policy.

“I welcome today’s announcement as a significant step toward our goal of providing access to health care for all Delawareans,” said Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. “Making sure individuals and families are covered remains our priority, and this first tentative agreement will bring peace of mind to many state residents as they weigh their coverage options for the coming year. I thank our sister agency, the Department of Insurance, and representatives of the carriers operating in the state for their hard work.”

-30-

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

 

Department of Health & Social Services
Delaware DHSS Logo

 

DOI Seal
Delaware Department of Insurance Seal