By: Follow South Jersey Staff
CAMDEN, N.J. — Those interested in enrolling or changing their health care coverage can now browse and compare plans and see if they qualify for financial help and sign up as the Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period at Get Covered New Jersey (GetCovered.NJ.gov) has gone live.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to prove how important it is to provide our residents with effective and affordable health insurance,” Camden County Commissioner Carmen Rodriguez said. “Eligible residents should look to take advantage of the wide range of cost-effective health care plans offered through Get Covered New Jersey.”
Nine out of 10 residents enrolling at Get Covered New Jersey will qualify for financial help to lower the cost of quality, affordable health coverage. The majority of people receiving financial help will have access to a health plan at a cost of $10 a month or less, due to historic savings that remains available for 2022 from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and the State of New Jersey.
New Jersey transitioned from the federal health insurance marketplace to its own last year. This has allowed the state to offer a longer Open Enrollment Period, state subsidies to lower costs along with available federal tax credits, and a strengthened assister network providing free enrollment assistance to residents.
The American Rescue Plan ensures no one pays more than 8.5 percent of their income for health insurance. The additional savings allowed New Jersey to increase the amount of state subsidies available to eligible consumers and to extend the state savings to residents at higher income levels for the first time, allowing those earning an annual salary of up to 600 percent of the federal poverty level ($77,280 for an individual and $159,000 for a family of four) to receive state assistance. Both increased federal and state financial help will remain available, and 9 in 10 consumers enrolling will qualify for assistance.
For 2022, consumers will have more plan choices with the entry of a new health insurance company selling plans through Get Covered New Jersey. Ambetter from WellCare of New Jersey will enter the market in 2022, joining AmeriHealth, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and Oscar.
The state expanded the Open Enrollment Period in 2020 to three months from the six-week window available under the Trump administration, and is investing more in outreach and trained experts who will provide unbiased enrollment help to residents at no cost. This year, New Jersey is providing $3.9 million in grants to 18 navigators, which are New Jersey-based community organizations that provide enrollment assistance. This is up from $3.5 million provided to 16 navigators last year and $1.1 million provided to five in 2020. In 2019, the federal government funded just one navigator in New Jersey at $400,000. All navigators provide in-person and remote assistance.
Plans offered through GetCovered.NJ.gov cover preventive services, emergency services, prescription drugs, and prenatal and pediatric care, and more. No one can be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition.
The Open Enrollment Period for 2022 coverage at Get Covered New Jersey will run from November 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022. Consumers must enroll by December 31, 2021, for coverage starting January 1, 2022. If they enroll by January 31, 2022, coverage will begin February 1, 2022.
Open Enrollment is the only time residents can enroll in a plan unless they have a major life event such as getting married, moving or having a baby, which qualifies them for a Special Enrollment Period.
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.
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