Good news! More financial help is now available through Get Covered New Jersey
New Federal and State Savings
The federal government recently passed a COVID-19 relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. The new law will reduce health insurance premiums by providing more financial help to eligible consumers who purchase a plan through Get Covered New Jersey. The State of New Jersey is also providing more financial help to lower health insurance costs for residents enrolling at Get Covered New Jersey.
More people than ever will qualify for financial help. If you did not qualify for financial help before because your income was too high, you may qualify under the state and federal changes. If you already receive financial help, you will likely be eligible for additional premium reductions. These new changes make coverage more affordable at many income levels.
On January 29, 2021, the Department of Banking and Insurance (“Department”) issued Bulletin No. 21-03 advising carriers and other interested parties that an emergency COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period (“COVID-19 SEP”) would go into effect on February 1, 2021 and extend through May 15, 2021. The COVID-19 SEP ensured that New Jersey residents have access to quality affordable health insurance during a critical time in which the need to protect public health is paramount. Specifically, the COVID-19 SEP made sure that individual market coverage was available to uninsured individuals during the pandemic. It also aligned New Jersey with the Federal Special Enrollment Period which runs through May 15, 2021 and the Federal Public Health Emergency.
The American Rescue Plan & Additional Financial Relief
The federal government recently passed a COVID-19 relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021. The new law will reduce health insurance premiums by providing more financial help to eligible consumers who purchase a plan through Get Covered New Jersey. Get Covered New Jersey is working to implement the changes and update its system to ensure that New Jerseyans receive this relief as soon as possible.
More people than ever will qualify for financial help. If you did not qualify for financial help before because your income was too high, you may qualify under the federal changes. If you already receive financial help, you will likely be eligible for additional premium reductions. These new changes make coverage more affordable at many income levels.
Governor Murphy Announces Health Insurance Signups In New Jersey Surpass Previous Two Years
Urges Residents to Get Covered During New COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period
9.4% Increase in Plan Selections from 2020, Enrollment Remains Open Until May 15
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that health insurance signups through New Jersey’s new state-based marketplace surpassed the Open Enrollment Period for the previous two years in New Jersey. Plan selections for 2021 coverage increased 9.4 percent over last year’s Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period, as the state successfully expanded access to health coverage through its new state-based marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey, during its first open enrollment period.
Governor Murphy Announces Extension of Affordable Care Act Enrollment Period for Uninsured In New Jersey In Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
New Jersey Joins Biden Administration in Effort to Assist Residents Through Special Enrollment Period
TRENTON – Following the Biden Administration’s health care action today, Governor Phil Murphy announced the State is extending the health insurance enrollment period for uninsured residents to sign up for coverage through Get Covered New Jersey, the state’s official health insurance marketplace, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As Open Enrollment Deadline Nears, Residents Urged to Sign Up for Health Insurance at Get Covered New Jersey
8 in 10 Qualify For Financial Help to Lower Costs
TRENTON – As the Open Enrollment deadline nears, Governor Phil Murphy, Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride, and state legislators today urged residents in need of health insurance for 2021 to sign up for a plan at Get Covered New Jersey.
Open enrollment for the state’s official health insurance marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey ends January 31, 2021. Commissioner Caride reminded New Jerseyans that open enrollment is the only time during the year when residents can enroll in coverage, unless they have a major life event that qualifies them for a Special Enrollment Period or they qualify for NJ FamilyCare. With nearly two weeks left in open enrollment, now is the time to visit Get Covered New Jersey to shop for quality, affordable health insurance and to enroll in a plan by the January 31, 2021 deadline.
Final Days to Enroll in Health Insurance at Get Covered New Jersey for January 1st Coverage
Residents Must Enroll by Dec. 31 for Coverage Beginning in the New Year; 8 in 10 Qualify For Financial Help
TRENTON – Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride today reminded New Jersey residents that there are three days left to enroll in health coverage that starts on the first of the year. New Jersey residents can shop for quality, affordable health insurance at the state’s official health insurance marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey. Residents must select a plan by December 31, 2020 for coverage beginning January 1, 2021.
Governor Murphy Designates December 10th “Get Covered Day,” Encourages New Jerseyans to Get Covered During Open Enrollment
Proclamation is part of Get Covered 2021, a National Campaign to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 & Encourage Residents to Enroll in Health Coverage
TRENTON — Joining with state partners from across the country in encouraging residents to enroll in health insurance during the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period, Governor Phil Murphy issued a proclamation designating today, December 10, 2020, as “Get Covered Day” in New Jersey. Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride reminded residents that the deadline to enroll for coverage starting in the New Year is December 31st.
It was a little over a year ago that New Jersey legislators passed, after some last-minute drama, a bill to follow in the footsteps of Nevada and split off from the federal ACA exchange, HealthCare.Gov (there's actually a dozen other states which also operate their own full state-based exchanges as well, but 11 of them were never hosted by the federal exchange in the first place. The exception is Idaho, which was hosted by HC.gov for one year before splitting off, but that was always their plan from the start).
New Jersey's ACA portal website, Get Covered NJ, has actually been live for two enrollment periods already, but until now it was just that--an information portal only. The actual healthcare policy shopping/enrollment process was still handled through HealthCare.Gov.
Pennie replaces Healthcare.Gov and will improve access to coverage and increase affordability
Harrisburg, PA – September 22, 2020 – Today, Pennsylvania announced, Pennie, the new state-based health insurance marketplace for 2021 coverage. Pennie is available to all Pennsylvanians and aims to improve the accessibility and affordability of individual market health coverage. It is also the only place that connects Pennsylvanians to financial assistance to reduce the cost of coverage and care.
Pennie was created by Act 42 of 2019, passed unanimously by both chambers of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on July 2, 2019.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and just getting generally swamped, I haven't gotten around to writing about Pennsylvania's state-based ACA exchange, due to launch this fall, since way back in December:
PA’s A Step Closer To Starting A State-Based Health Insurance Exchange
Pennsylvania’s new, state-run health insurance exchange is getting rolling ahead of its launch in 2021.
The commonwealth has chosen a California-based company, GetInsured to run it.
...Zachary Sherman, who heads the newly-created Pennsylvania Health Insurance Exchange Authority, said the contract with GetInsured will cost around $25 million annually, plus startup expenses that’ll be spread over several years.
“That’s compared to what we currently pay for Healthcare.gov, which is in the $90 to $95 million range,” he said.
Sherman said the administration chose GetInsured because it has already contracted with other states, like Nevada and Minnesota.
He said the new exchange is expected to save people between five and ten percent every year on premiums.
Pennsylvania is poised to roll out its own online health insurance exchange to take the place of the one run by the federal government for the state's residents since 2014, saying it can save money for hundreds of thousands of policy-buyers.
I noted yesterday that Virginia is the latest state to consider jumping onboard the State-Based Exchange train, joining Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine and possibly Oregon in making the move. Every time I've mentioned Oregon, however, I've had to put a bit of an asterisk on it because I wasn't quite sure whether or not their shift back to their own full tech platform was still a go or not.
Like Nevada, Oregon did have their own full exchange once upon a time. Back in the first ACA Open Enrollment Period from 2013-2014, both states were among those which ran their own exchange websites. Nevada's was developed by Xerox; Oregon's was developed by Oracle.
Way back in October 2013, the very first official ACA Open Enrollment Period began...and was an immediate disaster for not just the federal exchange website (HealthCare.Gov), but also for about half of the states which were operating their own whole-widget ACA exchange websites.
That first year, there were 15 states doing so: California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia (not actually a state, I know), Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington State. There were oddball problems at launch with most of them, but HI, MD, MA, MN, NV, OR and VT had serious issues.
Last week I noted that Pennsylvania is joining Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey and (apparently) Oregon in moving away from the federal ACA exchange mothership known as HealthCare.Gov:
Pennsylvania moves to take over health insurance exchange
Pennsylvania is moving to take over the online health insurance exchange that’s been operated by the federal government since 2014, saying it can cut health insurance costs for the hundreds of thousands who buy the individual Affordable Care Act policies.
...The bill is backed by Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and his administration says it would make two important changes to reduce premiums for the 400,000 people who purchase health insurance through the Healthcare.gov online marketplace.
Pennsylvania is moving to take over the online health insurance exchange that’s been operated by the federal government since 2014, saying it can cut health insurance costsfor the hundreds of thousands who buy the individual Affordable Care Act policies.
New legislation unveiled Tuesday has high-level support in Pennsylvania's House of Representatives, with the chamber's Republican and Democratic floor leaders as the bill's lead co-sponsors.
A House committee vote was scheduled for Wednesday, underscoring the urgency of the legislation.
The bill is backed by Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and his administration says it would make two important changes to reduce premiums for the 400,000 people who purchase health insurance through the Healthcare.gov online marketplace.
In Idaho's case, this was always the plan from the start; they simply didn't have time to launch their own exchange before the 2014 Open Enrollment Period, so they bumped it back a year. Idaho is about to lose that unique status, however, in a big way.
This one came completely out of left field, but it's a pleasant surprise.
Last year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, along with the Democratically-controlled state legislature, passed several sweeping laws and policies designed to either protect the ACA from sabogate efforts by the Trump Administration or to cancel out existing sabotage measures.
I don't know what the status is of H.R. 5155 (the House Democrats catch-all "ACA 2.0" bill which I've been pushing for awhile now), but it looks like individual elements of it are also in the works as standalone bills:
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 10:00am
Location: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Subcommittees: Health (116th Congress)
The Health Subcommittee with hold a legislative hearing on Wednesday, March 6, at 10 am in the John D. Dingell Room, 2123 Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “Strengthening Our Health Care System: Legislation to Lower Consumer Costs and Expand Access.” The bills to be the subject of the legislative hearing are as follows.
I say nearly all because there are still three numbers missing:
Vermont has yet to release any 2019 enrollment data. This is the 3rd year in a row that they've been radio silent. Assuming they're close to last year (28,763 QHP selections), they should add around 28,000 to the national total.
New York still has 2 days left for people to #GetCovered. I'm going to assume they'll tack on perhaps 5,000 more people today and tomorrow.
The District of Columbia hasn't posted any updates since December 11th, which means not only do they still have 2 days for people to sign up, they're actually missing a whopping 51 days worth of enrollment data. Again, assuming they wrap up close to last year, that should mean another 1,400 or so from DC.
Between the three, I'd expect another ~34,000 QHP selections to be tacked onto the totals below.