New Jersey: Over 30,000 have taken advantage of the #ARP's Unemployment benefit to date; residents still have until Nov. 30th to #GetCovered!
I'm gonna be posting mea culpas for a few days for missing important ACA-related announcements over the past few weeks.
This press release from the New Jersey Dept. of Banking & Insurance came out a few days ago but it's still relevant since NJ is one of a handful of states which have extended their 2021 "No Excuse Needed" Special Enrollment Period out beyond August 15th:
Murphy Administration Officials Encourage Residents Without Health Insurance, Who Received Unemployment Benefits in 2021, to Get Covered
- Residents Who Have Received One Week of Unemployment Compensation This Year Can Find a Plan for $1 a Month or Less
- Enrollment Remains open at Get Covered New Jersey through the end of 2021
TRENTON — New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride and Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo today remind New Jerseyans in need of health insurance, who received unemployment compensation for any week during 2021, that quality health plans are available through Get Covered New Jersey, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, at nearly no cost due to the American Rescue Plan. Enrollment at Get Covered New Jersey (GetCovered.NJ.gov) remains open through the end of the year, but residents must select a plan by August 31st for coverage beginning September 1, 2021.
The federal American Rescue Plan, signed by President Biden earlier this year, offers increased savings for many consumers who buy health insurance directly through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. Residents who have received, or been approved for at least one week of unemployment compensation in 2021, may be eligible for a plan that costs less than $1 a month for the rest of 2021 through Get Coverage New Jersey, if they are otherwise eligible for marketplace coverage. To date, over 30,000 residents have benefited from the unemployment-related savings.
I haven't seen much data on how many enrollees have taken advantage of the ARP's UI benefit specifically, but New Jersey holds roughly 1/44th of total ACA enrollment nationally during the 2021 OEP, so a simple extrapolation would suggest perhaps 1.3 million people doing so nationally?
I assume CMS will be coming out with a final report now that we're over the August 15th deadline for most states, so keep an eye on that.
“We urge all residents who need health insurance to take the time to see if they qualify for savings on their monthly costs,” said Commissioner Caride. “Now more than ever before, we understand the value of access to quality health care, and want to ensure everyone who needs health coverage takes advantage of the available savings. The special unemployment savings is only available through the end of the year, so if you need coverage our message is: Don’t wait. Go to Get Covered New Jersey now to compare your options and enroll.”
Consumers should know that the “silver” level plans – which are the most popular – not only have nearly zero monthly costs but also have significantly reduced costs when receiving medical care. The primary tax filer or spouse must attest to receiving at least one week of unemployment income in 2021 to qualify. The special savings is available to both new and existing consumers.
“When a worker is laid off, healthcare coverage too often becomes an expense many cannot afford. The American Rescue Plan has created this all-but-free alternative for our jobless residents. I urge everyone who’s eligible to sign up for this coverage,” said Commissioner Asaro-Angelo.
Residents who need coverage and are not eligible for the special unemployment-related savings may still be eligible for significant savings on a health plan due to the American Rescue Plan and new assistance provided by the State of New Jersey to lower monthly health insurance costs. Nine out of 10 New Jersey residents enrolling in coverage through GetCovered.NJ.gov are eligible to receive increased financial help to reduce their insurance premiums, and many can find coverage for $10 a month or less.
The American Rescue Plan also provided for fully subsidized COBRA plans, beginning April 1st and ending on September 30th. Consumers with COBRA subsidies ending may want to explore their coverage options through Get Covered New Jersey, which are often more affordable than full-priced COBRA.
Enrollment is open now through the COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period and will remain open through the end of the year.
Hmmm...NJ had previously announced they were bumping their deadline out through the end of November, but anyone enrolling that late in the year wouldn't have coverage actually start until December anyway, so this sounds like more of a semantic quibble to me, since if you enroll after 11/30 there'd no longer be any months left in 2021 for the coverage to...cover.
Plans available through Get Covered New Jersey cover the essential health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act, including free preventive care, and coverage for emergency services, prescription drugs, pregnancy, maternity and newborn care, as well as mental health and substance use disorder services. No one can be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
Residents can shop and compare plans, and see if they qualify for financial help at GetCovered.NJ.gov.
To get free help choosing a plan from a trained, certified assister, residents can go to Find Local Assistance on the Get Covered New Jersey website.