N.J. launches Get Covered New Jersey, its state-based health insurance marketplace

The state’s official health insurance marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey, was launched Wednesday and is now open to residents to browse health plans, compare prices and find out if they may qualify for financial help ahead of the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period that begins Nov. 1, the Governor’s Office said.

The Governor’s Office said Get Covered New Jersey will provide a one-stop shop for health insurance for residents who do not have coverage from an employer or other program. It is the only place residents can get financial help to purchase a plan.

According to the state, more financial help than ever before will be available to eligible residents shopping on the state marketplace as a result of new state subsidies passed by the Legislature.

“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,” Murphy said in a statement. “The coronavirus 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.

“We are proud of the steps we have taken to support the Affordable Care Act and push back against attacks on the landmark law by the (President Donald) Trump administration. Our policies improve affordability and access to coverage at a critical time. I urge residents who need health coverage to check out their options at Get Covered New Jersey now, before open enrollment starts.”

Residents in need of health coverage, or with coverage through Healthcare.gov who want to change their health plans, will be able to shop for and enroll in a health insurance plan at getcovered.nj.gov starting Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2021.

Residents shopping for health insurance on GetCovered.NJ.gov during this open enrollment period will have access to a new state subsidy — called New Jersey Health Plan Savings — on top of premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions available to lower the cost of their health insurance. About 8 in 10 consumers purchasing coverage on Get Covered New Jersey will qualify for assistance.

New Jersey residents will qualify for the new state subsidies based on income. Individuals whose annual income is under 400% of the federal poverty level will qualify to get this financial help in addition to premium tax credits. The estimated average subsidy for an individual with an annual income up to 400% of the FPL ($51,040) is projected to be at least $578 a year, and at least $2,313 a year for a family of four with an annual income up to 400% FPL ($104,800).

Because of the availability of the state subsidies, New Jersey will have the lowest net premium in 2021 for individuals with incomes under 400% FPL (who are eligible for both the subsidy and premium tax credits) since the implementation of Healthcare.gov and availability of federal tax credits. The average net premium for 2021, for those eligible for financial help, is estimated at $117 a month, compared with $164 a month in 2020, and $148 a month in 2014.

Operated by the New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance, Get Covered New Jersey provides New Jerseyans with access to quality, affordable health insurance options for themselves and their families.

All plans offered through GetCovered.NJ.gov cover the 10 essential health benefits required under the ACA, including preventive services, emergency services, prescription drugs, and prenatal and pediatric care, and no one can be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition. In New Jersey, there remains a requirement to have health coverage. Residents who do not qualify for an exemption from the Shared Responsibility Payment will pay a penalty at tax time.