Delaware Official Releases Health Care Pooling Plan

February 9, 2005 ( - Delaware state officials have unveiled a proposal for s statewide health insurance purchasing pool.

Insurance Commissioner Matt Denn unveiled state draft legislation on Monday that calls for a partnership between the public and private sector in which private insurance firms would market the program while the state would provide a fund to protect such insurers from large losses, according to the Associated Press.

Denn stated that the draft legislation was still in its earliest version and was subject to revision. The proposal, he stated, is based on three premises: reasonable coverage at affordable prices; covering all Delawareans regardless of their previous health issues and minimizing state exposure by relying on the private sector. A state panel would design one or two benefits packages with narrow price windows or premium costs – but no uniform costs – according to the plan.

The benefit(s) package(s) would then be put out to bid in the private sector. In order to keep prices down, the state would promise to contribute annually to a fund that would protect the private insurers from large losses. Hospitals and medical facilities would be required to contribute to the fund from the amount they save from not having to treat uninsured patients, according to the plan.

To be eligible, people would have had to live in the state for at least two yearsor be employed by a company from the state, according to the AP.

Denn admitted to the AP that the plan will be tough to sell, but also expressed optimism that a plan would be passed by the Generally Assembly next year. The state’s Governor, Ruth Ann Minner, has already expressed support for such a scheme.