Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, touted the upcoming opportunity starting October 1 for New Jerseyans to sign up for affordable health care coverage through the new marketplace made possible by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Pallone was joined Tuesday at the Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick with the hospital's President and CEO, Amy Mansue and also Justine Ceserano, New Jersey State Director of Enroll America, whose mission is to maximize the number of uninsured Americans who enroll in health coverage made available by the ACA.
The open enrollment period for the first year of the new online marketplaces runs from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. For those who enroll by December 15, health coverage will begin on January 1, 2014. In New Jersey, more than 610,000 people will be eligible for the new health insurance premium discounts in 2014.
"Next Tuesday, the new online Marketplace, healthcare.gov, will be open for business, providing New Jerseyans with a very simple and fast way to get health insurance that will meet their needs, their lifestyle, and their budget at any income level," said Pallone. "Today, over 900,000 or 13% of New Jersey's non-elderly residents are uninsured, but very soon, that number will begin to drop when hundreds of thousands of New Jersey's hard working families can gain some peace of mind when it comes to affording their health care and getting the coverage they need."
Also beginning October 1, 395,000 more New Jerseyans will be eligible for coverage through Medicaid expansion thanks to the ACA. This applies to people with the lowest incomes -- those with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
"Two-thirds of the nation's children who are uninsured are eligible for either Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. Their parents are working but do not have insurance and therefore they think their children don't have access to health coverage," said Amy B. Mansue, president and CEO, Children's Specialized Hospital. "Having one system that will easily determine if they are eligible and the price of the premium is a huge step forward in helping our children receive the quality healthcare they deserve."
Pallone also spoke about the many ways New Jerseyans are already benefiting from the ACA like, for example, health plans are now required to allow parents to keep their children under age 26 without job-based coverage on their family coverage. Over 70,000 young adults in New Jersey gained or were able to keep their insurance coverage as a result of these provisions.
Americans looking for health coverage should go to www.healthcare.gov. If they have questions, they can call 1-800-318-2596, a toll-free hotline open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.