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What You Need to Know about New Jersey’s Insurance Marketplace, Get Covered NJ

October 30, 2018

By Tara Rosenberg, CHAA - Updated 10/29/2020

Choosing an insurance plan can be tricky. If you don’t have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source, you can get coverage through New Jersey’s Marketplace. Before you start looking for a plan, there are some misconceptions about the health insurance Marketplace that could get you off track.

Common New Jersey Marketplace Misconceptions

The Marketplace has been Eliminated

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not been repealed or replaced. We are now on a state-based Marketplace platform called Get Covered NJ. Open enrollment period is now longer, you now have three months to select your 2021 coverage. Open enrollment begins November 1, 2020 and ends January 31, 2021.

The Tax Penalty no Longer Exists

For those in New Jersey, the answer is yes and no. There is no federal tax penalty if you do not have health insurance. But there is a state tax penalty for being uninsured in New Jersey. The state penalties will run at approximately the same rate as the old federal tax penalty. In the end, you will be taxed if you are a resident of New Jersey and do not have health insurance.

The Marketplace is Expensive and Unaffordable

Good news for New Jersey residents – premiums are expected to drop up to 15% compared to previous enrollment years. In addition, you can get a tax credit that will actually help pay your premiums. New Jersey is offering additional savings for consumers who qualify for the Advanced Premium Tax Credit. This additional credit is called New Jersey Health Plan Savings Premium Reduction (NJHPSP). Also remember that everyone’s health insurance quote is personal to them, taking into account a person’s income, family size, age, place of residence and tobacco use.

One of Hackensack Meridian Health’s certified application counselors can help you determine if you quality for tax credits. Call 732-902-7080 to schedule an appointment.

I Won’t Qualify for Tax Credits because of my Gross Income

It’s common for applicants to incorrectly enter their gross income. You can deduct a number of expenses from your gross income which can help you qualify for tax credit, including:

Alimony payments

Retirement contributions

Student loan interest

Tuition costs

Educator expenses

Moving expenses

Also there are several items that you don’t have to include in your gross income calculation:

Child support

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Veteran’s disability

Proceeds from loans (i.e.: student loans, bank loans, home equity loans)

No Doctors Accept Marketplace Plans

To see who accepts what plans, you can type your doctor’s name or their practice name as well as your prescriptions on GetCoveredNJ.gov. The Marketplace website will show you which providers and prescriptions each insurance plans covers. If your spouse has different needs, you can each purchase different plans.

My Premium Price will Never Change

If you experience any life changing events in 2021, you can notify GetCoveredNJ.gov by calling or updating it in the system 60 days prior to or after the event. Your premium can actually be lowered if your income decreases, family size increases, experience death, and, sometimes, if you move.

Next Steps & Resources:

Hackensack Meridian Health is holding open enrollment sessions for Get Covered NJ 2021. If you have questions or need assistance selecting an insurance plan, register for an appointment with a certified application counselor by calling 732-902-7080.

Tara Rosenberg, CHAA is a financial assistance navigator at Hackensack Meridian Health.

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