New Jersey goes rogue with its own health insurance marketplace

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TRENTON -

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Friday that New Jersey will soon operate its own health insurance marketplace instead of being a part of the federal Affordable Care Act.

This would make New Jersey the 12th state in the country to create its own health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act. The governor made the announcement at St. Barnabas in Livingston.

Murphy says that he wants to make sure that all New Jersey residents have accessible and affordable health care as the Trump administration cuts back on the federal program.

“Ensuring access to high-quality health care is one of our greatest society responsibilities,” Murphy says. “But we also have a responsibility to ensure access to affordable health coverage.”

The governor says that his plan to seek state control over the health insurance marketplace from the federal government will do both of those things.

“We are guided by the core belief that affordable health care is not a privilege but it is a basic right,” says Murphy.

The governor says that by moving New Jersey to a state-based health exchange program, there will be more control over everything involving health care – from managing the website, to the length of the enrollment period, which was recently cut by the federal government. He says that the state will also have control over the plans themselves and the ability to tailor them specifically to state residents.

Murphy says that the Trump administration “continues to undermine and weaken the federal marketplace in their misguided efforts to dismantle and weaken the Affordable Care Act.”

The governor also announced new state legislation to protect current and popular aspects of the Affordable Care Act, such as “protections from no-cost preventative care, prohibiting exclusions for pre-existing conditions,” and “allowing children to stay on their parents’ plan to age 26.”

Murphy says that he hopes that the state marketplace will be open for business by open enrollment in the fall of 2020. This would be for health care plans that start in 2021.

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