A Health Care Exchange is Coming to NJ and Some Pols Want a Campaign to Spread the Word

health insuranceIn late 2012, Governor Chris Christie vetoed using New Jersey monies to fund a state health care insurance exchange. But one will begin operating on October 1, backed by federal financing, in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Now there’s a bill in the state legislature to create a statewide awareness campaign to let residents know that it exists, when it will be accessible and how it may help them.

Under ACA, an exchange provides individuals, families and small business owners, who are otherwise not able to obtain health insurance coverage, a way to identify affordable options, purchase a policy, and find subsidies and other assistance programs.

The publicity bill is now in the state Senate Commerce Committee.

According to NJ Spotlight today:

“‘Build it and they will come’ is not an acceptable attitude when the topic of discussion is New Jersey’s health benefit exchange, scheduled to launch October 1. Residents need to know that the online marketplace is up and running so they can start pricing policies and seeing if they qualify for subsidies — essential information when the exchange actually opens its virtual doors to paying customers January 1, 2014.
Making sure the word gets out is the goal of a bill (A-3878/S-2673) now advancing in the legislature.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr. (D-Burlington) and Sen. Nia H. Gill (D-Essex and Passaic), the measure would require the state Department of Banking and Insurance to lead an outreach campaign to inform the public about the exchange.

Read the full story about the publicity bill, including arguments from legislators for and against.

Do you think the Exchange needs a publicity campaign? Let us know in our poll.

Photo: Flickr

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  1. Just for grins I checked the NJ healthcare info page again just now to see how much the rates are. Here’s a link:


    Unless the exchange is going to significantly lower the premiums, I predict a whole lotta people will be paying the penalty. I mean, really – family HMO coverage for $3,000 a month?? The cheapest “full coverage” plan, EPO (whatever that means) has a 50% coinsurance requirement and $2500 deductible – all for a premium of $800 per month!

    Even the lowest-priced “Basic and Essential” coverage (which doesn’t cover much!) would cost a family around $800 a month!

    Finally I don’t know how Horizon can actually publish a monthly premium of $14,000/family for 80/20 indemnity with a straight face!

    I am not smart enough to know what the solution to all this is…all I’m saying is, once my company realizes it would be cheaper to boot us all off and pay a penalty, I am going to have to sell my house and live in a tent on the banks of the Passaic River in order to afford health insurance. yippee.

    As for publicity, like everything else in this great state, it will end up costing whole lot more than it should.

  2. ObamaCare is the socializing and cost-shifting of the outrageously exorbitant monopolistic pricing in Big Medical care of government legislation designed to protect said monopoly. Good luck proving otherwise.

  3. The republican alternative is scrap it. Fix the problems with the old system and move on. I’m not sure if ACA will work- by work I mean lower the # of uninsured.

    Either way, de-coupling health insurance from work is the real winner here. Work/Healthcare was an end-around price controls and tax breaks. It never had to do with the health of citizens.

    I continue to support Universal Health Insurance. If you are a citizen, you are covered. A Medicare for all type of American created Health Plan.

    Neither side is bold enough to create such a system. A mandate system like the ACA would work IF it were shoved down the throats of the opposing party, and if that opposing party wasn’t so damn opposing.

    We get who we vote for. We get what we deserve.

  4. “Either way, de-coupling health insurance from work is the real winner here.”

    I don’t understand why this isn’t more obvious to more people. Imagine all the small companies not started because someone couldn’t afford to leave his or her insurance plan.

    This also impacts our ability to compete with firms overseas. The overhead that goes into our prices includes health insurance. That’s a problem when competing with firms that don’t have to fund health insurance.

    What really gets me is that both of these arguments should be very appealing to the GOP.


  5. “monopolistic pricing in Big Medical care”

    A monopoly is a market failure. Medical care is not “monopolistic”, but it does suffer from a different form of market failure. Free and fully informed choice is not possible in many situations of medical need.

    Agreement on this should be easy. Yet the conclusion – moving to a non-market solution – is oddly controversial.


  6. I like what Canada has. No, it is not perfect, but neither is ours, past and present incarnations. I don’t think a perfect health insurance system exists. I would like a plan where I would be covered from cradle to grave, no premiums, no deductibles, no denial of coverage for any reason. Yes, I would pay more taxes but I would rather do that than struggle to pay a costly monthly premium with a deductible, limits, and conditions.

    I HATE the way the system is set up now, under the ACA. I pay more now than I did before the ACA and I get less in return. How is this a good thing? I also don’t like that I can’t shop around the country. For example, let’s use cars as an example and say I am in the market for a Jeep Wrangler. A friend in PA tells me about a dealer where I can buy a Jeep Wrangler for $2,000 cheaper than in NJ. Why can’t they do that with health insurance? Make it an open market, as they do with other products (and it IS a product).

    I also don’t like paying for things I will never use: birth control, prenatal services, etc. But I can’t get insurance to cover my orthotics unless I am a diabetic! A cafeteria-style plan would be best where everyone can pick and choose what they need. And you can always add or subtract things later on if your needs change.

  7. >Universal Medicare for all
    >Plus a 1% tax on ALL Wall St transactions.
    >A State Bank
    >Nationalize the Fed.

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