Delaware Valley sees first set of deadlines to pick 2024 health insurance during ACA open enrollment

ACA open enrollment period began Nov. 1. The marketplaces are open to people who do not get insurance coverage through their jobs or other programs.

Listen 1:10
Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace navigator Leticia Chaw, right, helps gather information for Jennifer Sanchez

File photo: Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace navigator Leticia Chaw, right, helps gather information for Jennifer Sanchez to re-enroll in a health insurance plan Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, in Houston. Throughout the Delaware Valley, deadlines are approaching for 2024 ACA open enrollment. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

From Philly and the Pa. suburbs to South Jersey and Delaware, what would you like WHYY News to cover? Let us know!

Residents in the Delaware Valley area have just a couple weeks left to enroll in Affordable Care Act health insurance plans for coverage beginning on New Year’s Day.

The open enrollment deadline to select plans is Dec. 15 for people living in Pennsylvania and Delaware and Dec. 31 for people in New Jersey.

The most common advice that Antoinette Kraus, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, gives people is: “Don’t wait to shop.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“You shouldn’t wait because you’re nervous about the process. There is help for that,” Kraus said. “Nine out of 10 individuals qualify for financial assistance, and it’s really important not to delay.”

Health experts say a majority of existing customers with ACA marketplace plans will be automatically re-enrolled for 2024 health insurance coverage if they take no actions to change or switch plans.

That’s about 300,140 people in New Jersey and 340,616 people in Pennsylvania, according to new federal data.

States are also seeing a good number of new customers and returning customers making plan changes, said Devon Trolley, executive director of Pennie, Pennsylvania’s ACA marketplace. So far, that includes nearly 50,000 people in the Delaware Valley, data shows.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Some of those people are no longer eligible for Medicaid, a federal safety net program for people with low income, because their income exceeds program limits. Trolley said Pennie is working to transition those people to marketplace plans.

“We have seen a lot of those questions coming into the call center, and we’ve structured ourselves to be able to provide that help and support to the larger group that we thought would come in and that we have been seeing come in,” she said.

The number of plan options and insurance carriers varies by individual counties.

The second and final open enrollment deadlines are Jan. 15 in Pennsylvania and Delaware and Jan. 31 in New Jersey. That coverage will kick in slightly later on Feb. 1.

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal