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Obamacare enrollment in state drops

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According to NJDOBI, in the first quarter of 2018 almost 40,000 fewer New Jerseyans got their health care plans through Obamacare.
According to NJDOBI, in the first quarter of 2018 almost 40,000 fewer New Jerseyans got their health care plans through Obamacare. - ()

Nearly 329,000 New Jersey residents were getting their health care plans through Obamacare in a recent check, representing a drop of 39,858 fewer people than a year earlier.

That’s according to data from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, which compared the number of Obamacare enrollees in the first quarter of 2018 and a year earlier.

“Federal actions to undermine the Affordable Care Act, including the failure to fund Cost Sharing Reduction payments and the elimination of the individual mandate, created enormous uncertainty in the market and had a significant negative effect on health insurance enrollment in New Jersey,” said DOBI Commissioner Marlene Caride.

The DOBI report shows that 239,738 individuals were getting health care through marketplace plans, 25,386 fewer than in 2017. And 89,023 were getting their health care through off-the-marketplace plans in the first quarter of 2018, 14,472 fewer than the first quarter of 2017.

But a pair of health care bills Gov. Phil Murphy signed in May should help stabilize the insurance market and water down the expected premium increases, Caride said.

The first law establishes an Obamacare-style individual insurance mandate, which goes into effect Jan. 1, the same day the nationwide mandate ends.

The second law earmarks revenue from the insurance penalties towards a “reinsurance fund,” aimed at helping to field the cost of health care for the state’s older and sicker residents.

New Jersey has six plans both on and off the marketplace: Aetna, AmeriHealth, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, CIGNA Healthcare of New Jersey, Oscar Garden State and Oxford Health Insurance.

As of April, 11.8 million people were enrolled in the Obamacare exchange nationwide, according to the Center Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz


Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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