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New Jersey becomes the second state to take on the individual health insurance mandate

  Phil Murphy is pictured. | AP Photo

The state expects to collect between $ 90 million and $ 100 million in penalties. This money would finance a reinsurance program that Phil Murphy also signed. | AP Photo / Mel Evans

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill on Wednesday that will oblige all residents of New Jersey to take out health insurance or pay a sanction, making the state the second in the country to accept an individual health insurance mandate.

Democratic lawmakers drafted the bill, NJ A3380 (18R), in response to Congress's decision to repeal the federal mandate established under the Affordable Care Act. The lifting, the New Jersey lawmakers feared, would drive healthier people out of the state's Obamacare market and boost premiums. [19659005] History Below

"The single market would slip into a death spiral, if not for this legislation," said Senator Joe Vitale, D-Middlesex main sponsor. "This helps to keep and keep the insured ma (19659004) New Jersey's mandate is due to come into force on January 1, 2019, giving state officials seven months to inform residents about the new requirement.

Massachusetts was the first state to legislate mandate, which came into force in 2006 and served as a model for the federal provision contained in the Affordable Care Act, with more than 97 percent of its population in 2016, the lowest percentage of people in Massachusetts Without health insurance in the country.

In New Jersey, 92 percent of residents were insured in 2016, according to the US Census.

Former Republican Governor Chris Christie (Chris Christie) chose to work with a federally funded Obamacare Around 275,000 New Jersey residents have signed up for Obamacare's plans this year, and more than half a million Residents have received health coverage through Medicaid expansion.

New Jersey's mandate, which reflects the federal requirement, includes an annual penalty of 2.5 percent of a household's income or a fee per person, whichever is higher. The maximum penalty based on household income is the average annual bonus of a Bronze Plan. If it is a fee per person, the maximum budget penalty is $ 2,085. A "hardship exception" for those who can not afford cover is determined by the Treasury Secretary, Elizabeth Muoio.

The state expects to collect between fines of $ 90 million to $ 100 million. That money would finance a reinsurance program that Murphy had also signed on Wednesday. The cost estimate is based on $ 93.9 million collected by the Internal Revenue Service of more than 188,500 New Jersey residents who paid the federal mandate penalty.

The Reinsurance Act, NJ S1878 (18R), will set up a program to help insurers cover the cost of the most expensive Obamacare patients.

Three insurers have offered Obamacare plans in New Jersey this year: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, AmeriHealth New Jersey and Oscar Health.

The state expects the federal government to pay about half of the program's costs, which could cost $ 275 million, according to Vitale estimates.

States may apply for a so-called 1332 waiver to redirect federal funds that would otherwise have been used for Obamacare subsidies. Reinsurance work is underway in several states, including Minnesota, Alaska and Oregon, whose 1332 disclaimers were approved by the Trump government last year.

The reinsurance program aims to reduce the average premium increase by ten percent to 20 percent. [19659004] "The goal is to avoid a substantial increase in premiums over the next few years, which will make insurance much more affordable for those who find it difficult, especially in the single market," said Vitale.

US Department of State Spokeswoman Trish Graber confirmed that the agency had obtained an actuarial services contract to determine the parameters of the reinsurance program and to help fund the 1332 federal funding waiver. She was not immediately able to provide details about the contract.

Even as the Murphy government and state legislators drive this stabilization effort from Obamacare, New Jersey's market is relatively stable compared to many other states.

"New Jersey's The single market has a large structural structure – a long history of responsible regulation, strong airline involvement and a competitive provider market," said Kathy Hempstead, Senior Consultant, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

New Jersey was one of only two markets in the country to win a new Obamacare insurer in 2018 and, according to a Hempstead analysis, underperformed other federally supported marketplaces

"In light of these new protections It is difficult to imagine that a state will be better prepared to overcome the significant obstacles this market will face at national level in 2019, "she said.

The governor's office did not respond immediately to a request for comment. 19659025] This article tagged under:

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