New Jersey to Set Up State Health Insurance Exchange

March 26, 2019 | Eric D. Fader | Affordable Care Act | Legislation and Public Policy | Private Insurers

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced on March 22 that the state will create its own health insurance exchange for plan year 2021, replacing the federally run healthcare.gov marketplace. Gov. Murphy also gave notice of the change by sending a Declaration of Intent Letter to the federal government’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

Healthcare.gov was established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, and 11 states and the District of Columbia opted instead to set up state-based insurance exchanges around that time. New Jersey will be the first state to create its own exchange since the early days of the ACA. According to the state’s announcement, the change “will allow New Jersey greater control over its health insurance market and the ability to establish stronger protections against the Trump Administration’s sabotage of the ACA.”

New Jersey’s Health Insurance Market Preservation Act, enacted last year and effective January 1, 2019, made New Jersey the second state (after Massachusetts) to adopt an individual health insurance mandate, similar to the ACA’s individual mandate that was eliminated for 2019. The state’s Health Insurance Premium Security Fund, a state-based reinsurance program to protect insurers who pay for care to the costliest patients, is funded in part by penalties collected from those who do not maintain insurance.

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