NJ Bills Preserve ACA Protections

January 28, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Affordable Care Act | Behavioral Health | Legislation and Public Policy | Private Insurers

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently signed into law a package of nine bills that will preserve for state residents many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) even if the ACA itself is ultimately found unconstitutional. The new laws continue a trend among Democratic states that was previously discussed on Rivkin Rounds (see “States Pick Up ACA Slack”).

In a statement, Gov. Murphy said, “At a time when the Affordable Care Act is under siege by the Trump Administration and being challenged in the courts, New Jersey has a responsibility to protect and provide access to high-quality, affordable health care for all of our residents. I applaud my colleagues in the Legislature for taking the critical steps necessary to ensure that the provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act are codified into state law and for working to make the health of our residents a top priority.”

The bills included a requirement that health insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions without charging higher rates, and permit parents to keep adult children on their health plans until they turn 26 years old. The bills also protect ACA provisions under which preventive care and contraception must be provided without out-of-pocket expense to insureds; require that health plans cover mental health and maternity benefits; and prohibit certain plans that don’t comply with the ACA.

New Jersey is also opening its own health insurance exchange beginning in 2021, as discussed here. One of the new bills expands the exchange’s open enrollment period.

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