(Trenton, NJ – Insurance News 360) – The Department of Banking and Insurance has released figures that show a drop of more than 10 percent in health insurance enrollment for the individual market in the first quarter of 2018. Commissioner Marlene Caride connects the decline in enrollment in the state’s individual market to action in Washington aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, and demonstrates the importance of the state’s work to stabilize the market and improve access to coverage for residents.
“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 Commissioner Caride. “This is troubling because it means fewer New Jerseyans have access to care and the protections they were afforded under the landmark federal law. Under the leadership of Governor Murphy, New Jersey is working to stabilize the market, to reduce premiums and to increase enrollment in health coverage in the state. The Department is committed to its work to ensure that New Jersey residents have access to quality and affordable coverage.”
For the first time since 2014, the number of New Jersey residents enrolled in individual health plans in the first quarter of the calendar year, was down from the previous year. In the first uarter of 2018, approximately 328,761 residents were enrolled in Marketplace and off-Marketplace plans; this is down from 369,761 in the first uarter of 2017, a 10.8 percent decline.
Two bills recently signed by Governor Murphy aim to continue an individual mandate in January 2019, and to allow creation of a reinsurance program, contingent upon approval of a 1332 state innovation waiver application to the federal government. This application would help stabilize the insurance market and lower anticipated premium increases
The first quarter 2018 report for the Individual Health Coverage Program may be found here:
The first quarter 2018 report for the Small Employer Health Benefits Program may be found here:
Source: New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.