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NJ launches state-based health insurance marketplace

Residents who currently have insurance plans through will automatically be transferred to Get Covered New Jersey. – Photo by Picpedia

Get Covered New Jersey, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, launched yesterday for residents to look at the various plans, prices and financial assistance available ahead of the Affordable Care Act’s Open Enrollment Period, which begins Nov. 1, according to a press release. 

The site, which will act as a one-stop-shop for residents without health insurance from an employer or other program, will replace, according to the release. Residents who have plans through this site will be automatically transitioned to Get Covered New Jersey.

Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) encouraged uninsured residents to visit the site ahead of the Open Enrollment Period for insurance plans beginning Jan. 1, 2021, or later. 

“Our administration has fought for improved access to quality affordable health coverage for residents based on the fundamental principle that health care is a right,” he said, according to the release. “The coronavirus (disease) pandemic has underscored the need for all residents to have health coverage and there is no more important time than now for New Jersey to make the transition to its own health insurance marketplace.”

The state also expanded the Open Enrollment Period to last for three months from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, 2021, as opposed to the six-week period previously established by the federal government. Officials believe having a state-run marketplace will allow them to better meet the specific needs of New Jerseyans, according to the release. 

Residents shopping for health insurance through this site can also determine their eligibility for new state subsidies. Individuals with an annual income of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for subsidies as well as premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, according to the release.

For those who qualify, the estimated average subsidy is approximately $578 per year for an individual and $2,313 per year for a family of four.

Officials estimate that approximately 8 out of 10 consumers using Get Covered New Jersey will be eligible for some form of assistance. Individuals who qualify for financial assistance are expected to pay an average net premium of approximately $117 per month, compared with $164 per month in 2020, according to the release.

The state will also spend approximately $3.5 million on trained experts who can help residents with the enrollment process at no cost, according to the release. 

“Through Get Covered New Jersey, residents who need health insurance will now have access to more financial help than ever before and more trained professionals who can help them find the plan that fits their needs and budget,” said Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride, according to the release. 

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