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May 2, 2006     Cape Gazette
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May 2, 2006
 

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More than half of uninsured Delawareans employed Several state programs can help with health-care costs Although Delaware is doing better than the nation in terms of the uninsured, the ability of indi- viduals to become insured and maintain that insurance is becom- ing more difficult, due to the ris- ing cost of health insurance. The rise in health-care premiums affects both individuals and busi- nesses that provide health-care benefits to employees. During the Cover :the Uninsured Week awareness cam- paign May 1-7, hundreds of com- munities across the nation will spotlight the fact that 45.8 million Americans, including more than 8.3 million children, are without health care coverage today. Delaware has one of the lowest rates of uninsured at about 11.8 percent of the population or 96,400 people, including more than 21,800 children, according to a recently released study prepared for the Delaware Health Care Commission by the University of Delaware's Center for Applied Demography & Survey Research. "Delaware's tininsured rate has remained stable, in part, because of the many people working hard to enroll residents in programs for which they are eligible," said Dr. Janice Tildon-Burton, president of the Medical Society of Delaware, which leads the Delaware Covering Kids and Families Coalition. The coalition is an initiative funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to enroll eli- gible Delawareans in publicly subsidized health-care coverage programs. "Our goal is to educate people about programs that are available, and to enroll them if they quali- fy," said Tfldon-Burton. The Delaware Health Care Commission reports that Delaware's current system of accessing health insurance is Source: Health Affalr Se 2004 Although Delaware is doing better than the nation in terms of the uninsured, eoneerns are mounting about the ability for individ- uals, both in Delaware and the nation, to maintain cov- erage due to the rising costs of health insurance. These new cost trends sug- gest greater challenges in maintaining coverage levels, in particular for small busi- nesses currently offering or planning to provide health eare benefits for employees. Shown are increases in employer health insurance premiums eompared with other indieators through employer-sponsored pri- vate insurance Or government subsidized programs. As part of its mission to promote access to affordable, quality health care for all Delawareans, the commission is currently addressing options that would expand and maintain coverage levels, in particular, for individuals with low or modest income as well as small business- es currently offering or planning to provide health care benefits to employees. "Small businesses, those who are self-employed and individuals are the groups that have the toughest times keeping up with the rising cost of health insur- ance," said Lt. Gov. John Carney, chairman of the Delaware Health Care Commission. "We need to continue our work to find afford- able alternatives so hard working Continued on page 34 CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, May 2 - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - 33 i 811 to ' More than half of uninsured Delawareans employed Several state programs can help with health-care costs Although Delaware is doing better than the nation in terms of the uninsured, the ability of indi- viduals to become insured and maintain that insurance is becom- ing more difficult, due to the ris- ing cost of health insurance. The rise in health-care premiums affects both individuals and busi- nesses that provide health-care benefits to employees. During the Cover :the Uninsured Week awareness cam- paign May 1-7, hundreds of com- munities across the nation will spotlight the fact that 45.8 million Americans, including more than 8.3 million children, are without health care coverage today. Delaware has one of the lowest rates of uninsured at about 11.8 percent of the population or 96,400 people, including more than 21,800 children, according to a recently released study prepared for the Delaware Health Care Commission by the University of Delaware's Center for Applied Demography & Survey Research. "Delaware's tininsured rate has remained stable, in part, because of the many people working hard to enroll residents in programs for which they are eligible," said Dr. Janice Tildon-Burton, president of the Medical Society of Delaware, which leads the Delaware Covering Kids and Families Coalition. The coalition is an initiative funded through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to enroll eli- gible Delawareans in publicly subsidized health-care coverage programs. "Our goal is to educate people about programs that are available, and to enroll them if they quali- fy," said Tfldon-Burton. The Delaware Health Care Commission reports that Delaware's current system of accessing health insurance is Source: Health Affalr Se 2004 Although Delaware is doing better than the nation in terms of the uninsured, eoneerns are mounting about the ability for individ- uals, both in Delaware and the nation, to maintain cov- erage due to the rising costs of health insurance. These new cost trends sug- gest greater challenges in maintaining coverage levels, in particular for small busi- nesses currently offering or planning to provide health eare benefits for employees. Shown are increases in employer health insurance premiums eompared with other indieators through employer-sponsored pri- vate insurance Or government subsidized programs. As part of its mission to promote access to affordable, quality health care for all Delawareans, the commission is currently addressing options that would expand and maintain coverage levels, in particular, for individuals with low or modest income as well as small business- es currently offering or planning to provide health care benefits to employees. "Small businesses, those who are self-employed and individuals are the groups that have the toughest times keeping up with the rising cost of health insur- ance," said Lt. Gov. John Carney, chairman of the Delaware Health Care Commission. "We need to continue our work to find afford- able alternatives so hard working Continued on page 34 CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, May 2 - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - 33 i 811 to '