Residents of the Garden State might be busy shopping for health insurance, especially with the open enrollment period running in the state. The best thing is that people will find several health insurance options and different levels of coverage available in the state. However, while shopping for cheap and affordable health plans in New Jersey, people need to carefully understand the benefits they are entitled to at a price they will need to pay for the plan. People shopping for an individual and family plan can get the coverage they need at the best price by comparing and analyzing all the health insurance options available. people need to understand that they can enroll in a health plan only during the open enrollment period that runs in the state from November 1, 2020, to December 15, 2020, unless they are eligible for the Special Enrollment Period due to a qualifying event. If people fail to enroll during the open enrollment period then they will have to wait for another year to get health insurance.
Types of Health Plans available in New Jersey
Different types of individual and family health plans available in New Jersey include HMOs, PPOs, POS, and EPOs health plans along with short-term and catastrophic health plans. According to the Affordable Care Act, it is illegal for any health insurance carrier to deny health coverage to anyone based on pre-existing health conditions. It is mandatory for New Jersey residents to have health insurance, as the individual mandate is applicable in the state along with some other states like California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and DC.
Health Insurance Cost
In New Jersey, the average cost of health insurance for a 40-year old individual is $379 a month in 2020. Health insurance will become more expensive for individuals as they age or if they use tobacco. Residents of New Jersey can shop for a cheap health insurance plan through the marketplace or if they qualify for a Medicaid plan based on their low household income. The average cost of 2020 health insurance plans in the state is $500 for a 40-year old. Higher-tier plans cost more compared to lower-tier plans, and the price of the health insurance increases even with age. Health insurance premiums for a 40-year old will be high compared to a 21-year old individual. The cost of the cheapest silver health plan for a 40-year old individual in New Jersey is $379 and the expanded Bronze health plan is $307 in the year 2020.
New Jersey Residents have Access to Low-Cost Health Insurance
Luckily residents of New Jersey have access to low-cost health insurance and 4 out of 5 people in New Jersey qualify for Marketplace subsidies in 2019. ACA subsidies or premium tax credits offer financial assistance to people and reduce their monthly premium on metal plans. The ACA subsidies allow people of New Jersey to save hundreds of dollars with subsidies, giving them access to low-cost health insurance in New Jersey.
Some examples of health insurance costs after subsidies in New Jersey:
- The cost of a silver plan for a 21-year old person earning $25,000 a year will be $135 per month after subsidies and $305 without subsidies.
- The cost of a Silver plan for a family of four earning $50,000 a year will be $259 per month with subsidies and $1076 without subsidies.
Tips to Buy Health Insurance in New Jersey
Buying health insurance plans in New Jersey can be confusing, as there are different types and levels of coverage available in the state. People should choose the tier of the health plan based on their prior year’s healthcare needs and costs. In their effort to choose a cheap and economical health plan, people need to estimate the health plan costs and then decide on the level of protection that will cost them the least. For example, if a person’s health-condition requires multiple doctor visits in a month or year, then they should opt for a higher level of coverage like a platinum or gold plan for having maximum savings. Whereas, young and healthy individuals who only wish to protect themselves against the unexpected should opt for a bronze tier plan that has a minimum monthly premium but more out-of-pocket expenses. However, if the Bronze plan policyholders happen to frequently visit healthcare providers, then the cheapest plan in terms of the monthly premium may cost more in the out-of-pocket expenses.
Factors to Consider When Shopping from New Jersey Health Insurance Marketplace
New Jersey residents when buying health insurance from the marketplace need to keep a few things in mind:
- People while shopping for health insurance should keep their budget in mind, they should choose a health plan that fits into their budget and covers most of their healthcare needs.
- Individuals suffering from a chronic health condition that requires continuous medical care should opt for a plan that has a manageable deductible and a low copayment so they have low out-of-pocket costs.
- People also need to pay attention to the network of doctors that are included in the plan which they are considering to buy.
Look for Health Insurance Quote on the Individual Health Insurance Market
With a good percentage of residents of New Jersey having health insurance through an employer-based health plan, and only a few residents buying their health plan on the individual market, it becomes tough for them to find an affordable health insurance quote in the market. However, people should know that the best way to find a New Jersey health insurance quote is through the health insurance portal. People need to visit these sites and provide their basic information and they will be approached by the health insurance companies of their region, who will provide them with the preliminary quotes and their customer representatives will guide people through various health plan options meeting their health care needs in their budget.
Health Insurance Carriers offering Individual and Family Health Plan in New Jersey
New Jersey residents have access to different metal-tiers of individual and family plans such as Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Catastrophic health plans. The health insurance carriers offering 2021 health plans in New Jersey include:
- Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.J.
- Oscar Insurance