New Jersey had an uninsured rate of nearly 8% as of 2019. That’s according to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and amounts to about 690,300 people. When KFF looked at the uninsured rate again in 2021, they found that 304,300 people without health insurance in New Jersey would qualify for marketplace coverage.
Marketplace health insurance is regulated by the Affordable Care Act. These plans cover 10 essential health benefits, such as hospitalization, emergency care and mental health care, and pre-existing conditions. They also include subsidies for people who qualify based on income.
Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that of the people in New Jersey without health insurance who qualify for a marketplace plan, about 12% of them could get a bronze plan for free. That’s thanks to subsidies.
Subsidies, or advance premium tax credits, help lower the cost of health insurance for people earning between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. Most people qualify for some level of financial help.
When KFF analyzed premiums for marketplace plans in New Jersey in 2021, they found that the average lowest cost premiums for each metal tier were $319 for bronze plans, $388 for silver and $661 for gold. These averages don’t include tax subsidies.
New Jersey is among the states with its own health insurance marketplace. If you think you qualify for a subsidy, your best bet for cost assistance is to use the state exchange at NJ.gov/GetCoveredNJ.
Note, too, that New Jersey has an individual mandate for health insurance. If you live here, you’re required by law to have health insurance that meets the state’s requirements.
You don’t have to use a government marketplace to buy health insurance that meets the standards of the Affordable Care Act. But you may need to use the state exchange if you qualify for subsidized health insurance. Using our own marketplace, we found that a 40-year-old living in Red Bank, NJ, making $37,000 a year could find a bronze plan for just over $358 a month. This does not include tax subsidies.
Where you live makes a difference in the types of plans you can buy and how much these plans cost. There are at least three insurers offering marketplace coverage in New Jersey in 2021, including Oscar and BlueCross BlueShield of New Jersey.
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population”
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Marketplace Eligibility Among the Uninsured: Implications for a Broadened Enrollment Period and ACA Outreach” (January 27, 2021)
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Average Marketplace Premiums by Metal Tier, 2018-2021”
Kaiser Family Foundation, “Insurer Participation on the ACA Marketplaces, 2014-2021” (November 23, 2020)