Summary of New Jersey health insurance issues for 2014

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December 23, 2014 by Tony Novak

Reproduced from New Jersey Health Insurance News page at FreedomBenefits.net

  • Exchange results – A higher number of NJ residents now have health insurance than ever before due primarily to the expansion of Medicaid that added coverage for about 400,000 this year. The success rate with working individuals who would need to pay their own insurance premium is not as impressive. Two new insurance companies joined the health insurance marketplace in 2015: Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey and Oscar Health Insurance. Six insurance companies now offer 45 health plans (on average in each county) up from 26 in 2014.

  • Health and rates – More NJ residents have quit smoking and are taking better care of themselves. Still, more than one out of four NJ residents are obese and that is our biggest public health risk. A growing number of employers and health plans charge higher rates for smokers and overweight members who do not commit to a weight reduction program. Rate increases in most plans have been between 5% and 10%.

  • Medicare – A third of the state’s hospitals are being penalized by Medicare for sub-standard patient problems that it believes are easily prevented.

  • Medicaid – One sixth of NJ residents are enrolled in Medicaid. Yet a large backlog of people waiting for coverage still exists. Thousands more have given up hope trying to navigate the red tape that prevents them from obtaining coverage. This link provides some tips for enrolling in Medicaid.

  • Medical debt – Those without coverage and cash to pay large out-of-pocket costs facing increasing risk of being put into medical collections. A growing number of hospitals now seek wage attachments against those who cannot pay the high out-of-pocket expenses built into Obamacare policies. NJ Family Care coverage can be issued retroactively in some cases to prevent medical and financial disasters. Employers can help by offering supplemental health insurance on a tax free basis to cover high policy deductibles

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