New Jersey – New State Bill Seeks Individual Mandate

February 2018 ~

New Jersey has introduced a legislation that seeks to establish an individual mandate that would begin in 2019 and would require taxpayers (and their dependents) to have coverage under a health insurance policy with minimum essential coverage.

The “New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act” (S-1877), if passed, would require those who don’t have health insurance plans that meet certain minimum standards to pay a fee to the state. This penalty would be determined under calculations previously used in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), based in part on the cost of an average bronze-level plan sold on the state’s individual health insurance market.

According to the proposal, exemptions would be available to individuals who could not afford coverage or for those who earn too little to pay tax, based on regulations to be determined by the Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) and the State Treasurer would also consider hardship and religious exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

New Jersey’s Senate Commerce Committee has approved S-1877 and also adopted a second measure, the New Jersey Health Insurance Premium Stabilization Act (S-1878) that would require the DOBI to request a federal waiver for certain ACA provisions in order to establish the state reinsurance fund to help offset extreme costs incurred within the individual market.

S-1878 would establish a board that would work with the state insurance commissioner to design the plan, including establishing a claims threshold for reinsurance payments of at least $50,000 and a cap for total payments of $250,000 or less. These leaders would also be required to establish a fee structure in order to assess insurance carriers to fund the program and the money would be held in a newly created fund under the Treasury Department.

These bills are now in route to the Senate Budget Committee for consideration.


Source(s): NJ Spotlight; APP;