Delaware Officials Try To Attract More People To Enroll In Health Insurance
Officials from Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services want as many Delawareans to get covered this time around.
"I have gone without health insurance for years," Nancy Lemus, Wilmington resident.
Lemus has a son with cerebral palsy she cares for. She's a waitress and says her money she brings in isn't consistent. She has a few medical issues she has ignored to make sure her son's needs are taken care of.
"When you add it up with all the other things I have to pay. It does become very expensive," she said as she went through a list of all the things her son's insurance doesn't cover.
She said she had just received a shut off notice from the water company moments earlier.
"I think Delaware has made tremendous strides relative to the outreach but we still have a long way to go," said Rita Langraf, Cabinet Secretary for DHSS.
Landgraf tells WRDE 26,000 Delawareans enrolled in the market place around this time last year.
The Department of Health would like to bolster those numbers. So its reaching out through tv, radio, billboards, info in the mail and social media.
It's even targeting specific zip codes with lower incomes, who may qualify for federally subsidies, to get information out to those residents.
"We're going to concentrate on doing that level of outreach that's more personalized in those communities."
If people opt not to get insurance the penalty may hurt. Adults without insurance will be taxed $695 or 2.5% of your income, which ever is greater.
There is help. 80-percent of those who enrolled last year qualified for assistance.
The state is working now to lift some of the burden.
"There's a lot of analysis going on by a number of groups outside of the insurance commissioner per-view to see if they can reduce those costs," said Paul Reynolds, Chief of Staff for the Delaware Department of Insurance.
So people like Nancy won't have to choose between her health and her son's.
If you want your health insurance to be in affect come January, you must enroll by December 15th.