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Health care task force recommends state individual mandate

January 16, 2019

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A state task force headed by Democratic lawmakers is recommending that Delaware establish an individual mandate to bolster the financial stability of the state’s Affordable Care Act program.

The recommendation follows the expiration earlier this month of the federal mandate that required individuals to obtain health insurance or face tax penalties. The mandate was eliminated as part of the 2017 tax reform law.

According to the task force report, Delawareans paid $8 million in penalties in 2016 under the federal mandate.

The report recommends that Delaware impose its own individual mandate, including a penalty to subsidize the state’s ACA marketplace, which saw enrollment drop about 7 percent last year.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is Delaware’s only ACA insurer. Premiums for its average “Silver” level plan increased 25 percent last year.