New Jersey Health Insurance Exchange Update
Open enrollment will be starting up soon for the insurance marketplace here in New Jersey and there are still a lot of unanswered questions to what plans and carriers will be available. With only a few weeks to go and nothing set in place, I wonder what kind of success it will be in the first year. Anyway, I will summarize what I know so far to help clear up some questions you may have.
NJ Health Insurance Options for 2014
In 2014, individuals and small business will be able to purchase their health insurance both on and off the health insurance marketplace. In addition, both options will allow you to go it alone or use your current broker as long as they are certified to use the exchange. (I am certified.)
Individual Marketplace Carriers and Plans
From what I have heard, there will only be three carriers in New Jersey offering plans on the exchange. They will be Horizon BCBS, Amerihealth and plans offered through Freelancers Union which is the new kid on the block.
The plans will be based on metallic tiers to hopefully make it easier for everyone.
- Platinum 90/10 Cost Sharing
- Gold 80/20 Cost Charing
- Silver 70/30 Cost Charing
- Bronze 60/40 Cost Sharing
One downside to the exchange is that it won’t have the same number of options that you can get off of the insurance exchange. For example, the carrier may offer 16 plans off the exchange and only 4 on it. So you need to weigh that out when you are choosing your insurance plan.
Premiums on the NJ Marketplace
The major benefit to using the exchange, and your broker should help with this, is getting certain tax benefits you may be eligible for.
Depending on your income and other qualifications, you may be entitled to a reduction in premium on your individual plan. This discount be available off the exchange.
If your business is taking advantage of using the recent IRS reabates, you may be entitled to a 50% rebate instead of the current 35%. To get the rebate, you need less than 20 employees, average salaries under $50,000 and contribute at least 50% of the premium as the employer. Read more about it here.
Insurance Plans Off The Exchange
Like I mentioned above, there will definitely be more options to purchase your insurance off of the exchange so you need to carefully weigh your options. Insurance companies are now revamping their product lines so they have all the essential benefits covered and we will be able to see these plans soon.
Not much will change as far as your carrier options and you will still be able to purchase your insurance through Aetna, Oxford etc… even though they won’t be on the exchange.
Keep checking back for more updates on the NJ Marketplace and don’t forget to register on the Healthcare.Gov website to get their updates.