NJ’s health plan enrollment now all year for low-income residents
TRENTON – New Jerseyans with incomes less than double the federal poverty threshold can sign up for health coverage through the state’s health insurance portal any time this year, rather than be limited to the typical open enrollment period.
State officials announced the expanded access period Wednesday, as they announced that a record 324,266 residents signed up for coverage through Get Covered New Jersey during the open enrollment period, up 20% from last year.
Because of expanded federal and state subsidies, many of those insurance policies come at no or little cost to consumers.
“We continue to take actions based on our belief that health care is a right, not a privilege, and this new effort builds on the work we have done during our administration,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
The open enrollment period happens from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31. That is typically the only time people can sign up for coverage unless they have a “qualifying life event” such as pregnancy or the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, moving or the loss of health coverage.
The expanded special enrollment period is available to people with an annual household income of up to 200% of the federal poverty level, meaning for example $25,760 for an individual and $53,000 for a family of four.
“We want to make sure that as many New Jersey residents as possible are aware they can turn to Get Covered New Jersey to sign up for coverage year-round – especially during the ongoing pandemic,” said Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride.
The state says nine out of 10 residents enrolling at Get Covered New Jersey qualify for subsidies and that the majority of those receiving financial help have access to a health plan costing $10 a month or less.
New Jersey requires people to have health coverage. Residents without insurance who do not qualify for an exemption pay a penalty when they file their income taxes.
Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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