The news is better than good -- and better than expected. The price of insurance sold on the ACA/Obamacare marketplace could be half as much as New Jersey residents pay now for similar coverage.
It's still to early to make precise cost comparisons. While information about prices was released yesterday, details about the plans were not. And plans are bound to vary widely, so making one-to-one comparisons is exceedingly tough. Still, at first blush, it appears as if some policies will cost about what they do now while others could be at least 50 percent cheaper.
For months the concern has been that rates in New Jersey would not be reduced because the Affordable Care Act has new mandates -- such as dental care -- and barebones plans will now longer be on offer. Those who purchase the most extensive coverage through the marketplace/exchange will generally see the greatest savings. But even those who currently have bare-bones plans can expect to pay similar amounts for more thorough benefits.
Residents can begin enrolling for insurance through the marketplace on October 1, with coverage starting on January 1, 2014.
Joel Cantor, director of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, said the primary reason for the lower rates is the expected increase in the number of younger and healthier residents in the insurance market, allowing healthcare costs of sicker residents to be borne by a broader population. The ACA requires all Americans to purchase insurance or pay a penalty.
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