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Monday is the last day for Affordable Care Act filings in NJ

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Monday is the last day you can enroll for health insurance through Get Covered New Jersey, the state marketplace for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. It’s the only place you can get insurance with state and federal subsidies.

After the open enrollment period ends, consumers who do not have insurance coverage through an employer or government program are only eligible to purchase a Marketplace plan after a major life event such as a move, birth of a child, or loss of other health coverage.

So far, more people have signed up for 2022 coverage in New Jersey than in any year since 2014, when the so-called Obamacare health plans became available. In November and December, 307,000 New Jersey residents enrolled, a 21% increase from 2021 enrollment year.

As of Monday, the number of people enrolled in Obamacare plans statewide was also up 17%, with five states including New Jersey and the District of Columbia remaining open to enrollment through Jan. 31.

“New Jersey has made access to health care a priority since the beginning of the Murphy administration,” said Marlene Caride, commissioner of the state Department of Banking and Insurance. “There is no doubt that our work is paying off.”

Getcovered.NJ.gov is the government's health insurance procurement website.

Several factors helped keep the price of health insurance in check and expand eligibility for New Jersey residents. The American bailout lifted the income cap for people receiving financial assistance. No one buying coverage on the marketplace has to pay more than 8.5% of their income based on a benchmark plan. The balance of the premium is paid through federal tax credits.

As a result of the increase in federal subsidies, New Jersey has been able to extend state subsidies to additional enrollments. That allowed people with incomes up to six times the federal poverty line — instead of four times the federal poverty line as was the case last year — to buy coverage on the exchange. The income limit for a single person is now $77,280 and $159,000 for a family of four. This single step resulted in 26,000 new enrollments.

New Jersey also increased its reach out to consumers to help them sign up. The majority of people who receive financial aid can purchase coverage for $10 a month or less, the state insurance department said.

And the open enrollment period through the state stock exchange is three months long, twice as long as some previous years.

The surge in enrollments in New Jersey came as about 33,000 people left Obamacare plans because they qualified for the state’s Medicaid program, NJFamilyCare, which covers lower-income residents.

State of the country 2022:Watch Murphy talk about healthcare in New Jersey

For 2022, consumers had an additional insurer to choose from. WellCare’s Ambetter of New Jersey entered the market with coverage in Essex, Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Burlington, Ocean, Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland and Atlantic counties.

Three other companies — Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, AmeriHealth, and Oscar — continue to offer coverage through Get Covered New Jersey.

Four out of five people who signed up have purchased a silver plan, which generally covers 70% of healthcare costs.

This is the second year of operation for GetCovered.NJ.gov. State law requires individuals who do not have coverage through an employer, Medicaid, Medicare, or other program to obtain coverage or pay a penalty in their state income taxes.

Lindy Washburn is Senior Health Care Reporter for NorthJersey.com. To stay up-to-date on how healthcare changes are affecting you and your family, subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @lindywa

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