Yes. Starting February 15, 2021 and lasting through August 15, 2021, consumers can take advantage of major improvements in access to and affordability of health coverage through the Marketplace under the new open enrollment period under the new American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). For more information, go to the American Rescue Plan and the Marketplace Fact Sheet
There is a good possibility that the answer is “yes.” Starting April 1, 2021, many consumers are eligible for higher tax credit amounts to help cover their Marketplace health plan premiums.
Instead of no premium tax credits for individuals and families making more than 400% FPL, ARPA will make premium tax credits available to these families and caps how much of a family’s household income the family needs to pay towards their premiums at 8.5%, based on the cost of the benchmark plan.
Four out of five enrollees will be able to find a plan for $10 or less/month with premium tax credits, and over 50% will be able to find a Silver plan for $10 or less with tax credits.
Current enrollees, including those who recently enrolled through the 2021 Special Enrollment Period, can update their applications and enrollments in order to get new eligibility results starting April 1. You will need to reselect your current plan in order for the changes to take effect to reduce your premiums for the remainder of the year. Current enrollees should submit an application update on or after April 1st to receive an updated eligibility determination. To do so, consumers should use the “report a life change” pathway to update their application, and then use the option for “change to my household’s income,” even if all the information on the application remains the same. After submitting the application update, consumers can confirm their current plan selection.
For more information, go to the American Rescue Plan and the Marketplace Fact Sheet.
Taxpayers who receive unemployment compensation during any week beginning in 2021 may be eligible to receive premium tax credits to help pay for 2021 Marketplace coverage. This is because the American Rescue Plan says anyone receiving unemployment benefits for at least one month in 2021 will be treated as if their income does not exceed 133% of FPL for purposes of eligibility for subsidies and cost-sharing reduction benefits.
Beginning in early July on HealthCare.gov, consumers who have received or have been determined eligible to receive unemployment compensation for any week during 2021 may be able to get another increase in savings when enrolling in new Marketplace coverage or updating their existing Marketplace application and enrollment.
CMS is looking at auto-redetermination, but for now those eligible must go to the Exchange to receive the enhanced benefits. Consumers will be warned that changing plans or carriers may reset accumulators.
Yes. Section 9501 of the ARP provides for COBRA premium assistance to help Assistance Eligible Individuals continue their health benefits. Assistance Eligible Individuals are not required to pay their COBRA continuation coverage premiums. The premium assistance applies to periods of health coverage on or after April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. An employer or plan to whom COBRA premiums are payable is entitled to a tax credit for the amount of the premium assistance.
For more information and to determine if you are an Assistance Eligible Individual, go to the Federal FAQs about Cobra Premium Assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (April 07, 2021)
The American Rescue Plan says that, through September 30, 2021, those on COBRA (including state COBRA, aka “mini COBRA”) do not have to pay the premiums for their group health plan for individuals and their dependents. The employer must pay the premium and receive a tax credit. Eligibility for ACA subsidies or Medicaid does not prevent eligibility for this COBRA benefit. COBRA election is extended for those who refused COBRA or for which COBRA ended, though the 18-month limit is not extended.
The State of Delaware official vaccine information website is: de.gov/covidvaccine. There is also a Vaccine FAQ page that you may find helpful, or consider calling the Division of Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at (302) 672-6150. The Call Center is operational from 8:30AM to 4:30PM Monday through Friday, and 10:00AM to 4:00PM on Saturdays. In addition, you can email questions to email@example.com.
Vaccine doses will be provided at no cost to you. Those administering the vaccine are able to charge a fee to your private insurance, or public insurance such as Medicare and Medicaid. These insurers are required to provide coverage for all office visit fees or administrative costs. Providers who administer vaccines to uninsured individuals may have this fee reimbursed by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund. The department provided more information in a related immunization bulletin.
Several types of insurance have provisions and exclusions that may be triggered as a result of COVID-19, including health, travel, life, annuities, business interruption, event cancellation, worker’s compensation, general liability, and directors and officers liability. As with all insurance policies, you should review your policy documents, contact your insurance agent or broker for assistance, or connect with the Department of Insurance if you have questions. View the NAIC COVID-19 and Insurance guide for more information.
You should contact your insurance company. Governor John Carney issued his sixth modification to the State of Emergency on March 24, 2020 requiring companies to be flexible with requiring premium payments and defer cancellations through July 1, 2020. During that time period, Delaware’s insurance carriers were required to freeze cancellations and nonrenewal of policies that might have otherwise occurred due to non-payment of premiums through the duration of the Delaware state of emergency for individuals who have been laid off or fired due to the state of emergency or organizations who have had to close or significantly reduce business. More information is available in our bulletin to the insurance industry, Bulletin No. 116.
While the freeze of cancellations and nonrenewals is no longer in effect, your policy cannot be cancelled for missed payments during that time period unless you do not complete a repayment plan. Please view our repayment plan question below for more information.
If you are having trouble communicating with your insurance company, call the Department’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-282-8611 or 302-674-7300 or file a complaint online.
In Governor John Carney’s 23rd modification to the Emergency Order on June 30, the Governor ended the freeze on cancellations and nonrenewals due to nonpayments associated with economic hardship caused by COVID-19, and required insurers to extend repayment options to policyholders. Every insurer is to provide a 90-day repayment plan with up to three equal installments to policyholders that demonstrate a loss of job or income and to businesses that was required to close or had to reduce business due to COVID-19. Insurers may amortize payment over a longer period of time, but no insurers may charge interest or penalties on the past-due premiums.
Your insurance company will provide notice to you about these provisions. You must take action to request the repayment plan by showing proof of economic hardship within two weeks of receiving notice from your insurance company. They will then provide an individualized repayment plan, including the amount of money you owe and when payments will be due.
You must continue to fulfill regular premium payments while on a repayment plan.
While the freeze of cancellations and nonrenewals is no longer in effect, your policy cannot be cancelled for missed payments during that time period unless you do not complete a repayment plan or miss new premium payments.
If you are having trouble communicating with your insurance company, call the Department’s Consumer Hotline at 1-800-282-8611 or 302-674-7300 or file a complaint online
For assistance, call our Consumer Hotline at 1-800-282-8611 or 302-674-7300, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. At this time, we are not taking in-person meetings.
For complaints, you can also fill out our complaint form and upload any relevant documents, and one of our investigators will contact you as soon as possible after you submit your form.
Some prescription drug plans are relaxing the way customers can order their prescription drugs, including allowing 90-day refills and expanding mail-order or delivery options. You can find your health insurance company in AHIP’s archive of company commitments to find out more. Additionally, insurers may have information on their FAQ pages:
If a change in income or insurance coverage is impacting your ability to manage your diabetes, you can reach out to Healthy Delaware‘s Delaware Helpline, which provides referrals for residents in need of diabetes services, medications, or supplies. The Delaware Helpline phone number is 1-800-560-3372.
You can use telemedicine and telehealth to contact your doctors, including your primary care provider, mental health care providers, and other doctors whom you would normally see in person. You do not have to have seen a provider in-person or before relevant services may be provided, per the Governor’s orders, and if you are a Delaware resident who is out-of-state for some reason, you can still receive these services.
If you had employer-sponsored health insurance but are no longer covered because your employer has permanently closed, you may be eligible to enroll in the health insurance marketplace. Loss of group insurance can create a qualifying enrollment event. You must enroll within 60 days from when your employer-issued health insurance ended. You can contact a local navigator, visit Healthcare.gov, or call (800) 318-2596.
You can contact a local navigator, visit Healthcare.gov, or call (800) 318-2596 to see if you are eligible for cost sharing and premium tax credits based on your income. In some cases, you may also be eligible for Medicaid. Depending on your 2020 tax return and your income to date, you may have to estimate what your income will be for the tax filing year of 2021. If you are eligible for tax credits and cost sharing, it will be reflected in reduced premium and deductible amounts.
If you already contacted a local navigator, visited Healthcare.gov, or called (800) 318-2596 and found out that you are not eligible for cost sharing and/or premium tax credits, there are other alternatives for health insurance that cover a three month period. While we do not often recommend short-term limited benefit health insurance policies, during this time it may be an option for you. Please be aware these plans do not provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions – anything that you have been diagnosed with or sought treatment for within the past five or more years. These plans only cover a limited number of doctor visits for a limited dollar amount, and may have very high deductibles and copay requirements. These plans do not qualify for or replace a major medical, ACA-approved health insurance policy. These types of policies are only effective for three months and are not renewable.
If you bought your own health insurance and are now unable to make your monthly premiums due to being out of work or working fewer hours, your insurance company may not terminate your coverage during the Delaware State of Emergency. The Governor and Insurance Commissioner have informed insurance companies that they are not permitted to terminate or not renew your insurance during the Delaware State of Emergency due to payment-related issues without a court order. Please note that you will need to contact your insurance company to explain why you are suffering a hardship and cannot make your premium payments in full or on time.
Once you return to work or start and new job, and your employer tells you the date that they will start offering health insurance to employees, you may want to sign up for coverage under your employer’s plan. If you choose to enroll in your employer’s plan, avoid duplicate coverage by notifying your insurance company in writing 30 days before you are terminating your individually purchased health insurance and list the date your employer-sponsored policy will become active.
You may be able to use your personal vehicle during the COVID-19 crisis to deliver goods, but check with your auto insurance company before beginning to do so. While auto insurance policies typically limit coverage for commercial uses of a personal vehicle, like delivering goods, some insurers have decided to remove that exemption during the pandemic to help residents who need the income. Contact your auto insurer to see what actions they are taking, and review our April 1 press release and Auto Bulletin No. 32 for more information.
As fewer vehicles are on the road and accident rates are decreasing, Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro has urged insurers to take action to decrease consumer auto insurance costs. Many auto insurers are enacting discounts and premium payback programs. While programs by participating companies may differ from insurer to insurer, most will go into effect without any action from you. Review more information in our April 7 press release, check our auto insurer action list, and talk to your insurer about their programs.
Yes. If you are a driver of a motor vehicle and complete an approved defensive driving course, you may receive 10 percent off a portion of your auto insurance for three years. If you take a refresher defensive driving course within 180 days of the end of the three-year period, you may receive a 15 percent discount. While in-person classes may not be available during the Delaware state of emergency, online defensive driving classes are still available, and may be taken in lieu of in-person classes.
Please read your travel insurance policy carefully to determine your coverage, and contact the company you bought it from to discuss, or to file a claim. If the claim is denied, you can ask if the insurer provides an internal appeal process to further dispute the denial.
You can and should take precautionary measures for your seasonal property, just as you would during any period where you would not be visiting the property. For example, make sure your pipes and wiring are in good condition, and consider turning off your water and installing water leak detection devices. You might think about installing surveillance devices. Your insurance policy should reflect that this property is not your primary residence, and policies sometimes have requirements for the property to be continuously insured for sixty days in order for coverage to apply. Contact your insurance company if you have coverage questions.
Many companies have had to shut down temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic with little time to prepare. Still, a lack of on-premises work activity does not mean reduced risk. Improper action or negligence when decommissioning facilities can bring risk for companies, as can idle premises.
Consider reviewing general security and prevention measures to help avoid physical damages, such as regular checks of fire protection systems, and storing all materials safely. You may want to access a security provider, and implement remote monitoring technologies. Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty (AGCS) provides suggestions in their Safety Measures for Businesses Forced to Temporarily Close their Premises publication.
Make sure to read your insurance policy, and understand coverage for your business property. Contact your insurance company with any coverage questions.
Business interruption insurance protects against losses sustained due to periods of suspended operations, and pays loss of revenue that would have been earned if the business operated continuously. Typically, policies require physical damage to the property for payment, and many policies have specific exclusions for viral infections, like COVID-19.
Contingent business interruption policies similarly protect against losses due to disruptions in the supply chain, but these policies may require physical damage to the property for payment, and many policies have exclusions for communicable diseases, like COVID-19.
We urge you to read your policy carefully to determine the initial scope of coverage that your policy provides for business interruption and associated expenses, and carefully review exclusions or conditions that would limit the coverage. Consult your insurance company with any questions.
We’ve stopped allowing public entry to our offices to protect our employees, but are always happy to help. If you’re experiencing an insurance issue related to coronavirus, call our office at 302-674-7300 or email us at email@example.com.
Individuals who have lost their jobs and no longer have employer-sponsored insurance may be able to purchase a healthcare plan on the marketplace. Go to choosehealthde.com to learn more.
If you think you may be experiencing symptoms, contact the Division of Public Health hotline at 1-866-408-1899. Visit de.gov/coronavirus for more information.
If you are an insurer who would like to provide information for inclusion in our FAQ’s, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.