Don’t be left out – the time to sign up for health insurance is here

Dear Editor:
Do you have health insurance? More New Jerseyans than ever before do.
Over a 30 month period since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) opened the federal insurance marketplace and expanded Medicaid, the uninsured population decreased by nearly half across the state.
As striking as this may sound, these gains still fall short of meeting the need. That’s why New Jersey is one of just four states nationwide that the US Department of Health and Human Services is designating as a key target area to boost enrollment during the Affordable Care Act’s Open Enrollment Period from November 1 through January 31, 2016.
We are all just one accident or unexpected diagnosis away from needing health insurance. For generations, access to quality, affordable care was out of reach. But now there is no longer any reason to live without the health care you and your family need, and the financial uncertainty of being unprotected.
Join the nearly 700,000 in New Jersey who have signed up for coverage. They know firsthand the peace of mind that comes with having an insurance card in your wallet – cancer screenings, hip replacements, and vaccinations are no longer out of reach. A trip to the emergency room can be replaced with a trip to the doctor.
It is not hard to understand why so many have signed up. In 2015, New Jersey consumers could choose from an average of 45 plans per county, an increase of 19 plans from 2014. Due in part to this competition, more than 71 percent of consumers who selected a plan with tax credits could have selected a plan with a premium under $100 per month. And over 51 percent could have selected a plan with a premium of less than $50 per month.
If you don’t have coverage, or would like to find out how to help your community get covered – I encourage you to visit or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to learn about the plans in your area, to see what financial assistance is available and to get covered. You can also find in-person assistance in your community at
And if you signed up for Marketplace coverage last year, it’s worth your while to come back and see what new choices are available to you and your family. With more plans to choose from this year, there’s more competition. That means you may find a plan that saves you more money, offers more services, or includes more doctors.
November 1st is just around the corner and the time to take action is now. Next year, if you do not have coverage, you can also expect to pay a higher tax penalty than in the past – 2.5 percent of your annual income or $695 per adult, whichever is higher. To get coverage effective January 1, a plan must be selected by December 15th.
Better choices. Better coverage. Better health. Every day from November 1 through January 31 2016, New Jersey will continue building healthier, stronger communities, one insurance card at a time.
Don’t delay, visit today!

Jackie Cornell-Bechelli
Regional Director
US Department of Health and Human Services – Region II (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands)

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