Report highlights the good news and bad news for those purchasing coverage through exchanges
A recent report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shows that enrollments in health insurance exchanges throughout the country remained stable during the last open enrollment period. In New Jersey, however, this could be a double-edged sword. While more people in the state have been able to acquire insurance coverage through the state’s exchange, fewer people are able to keep up with the pace at which insurance premiums are growing.
New Jersey exchange continues to pull in enrollments
Approximately 194,194 New Jersey residents have enrolled in the state’s health insurance exchanges. The state continues to keep pace with enrollment numbers coming from other exchanges, though those in larger states are outpacing New Jersey by a massive margin due to their higher populations. The exchange experienced some complications in the past, but these issues have since been resolved, making it easier for consumers to acquire coverage through the marketplace.
Consumers are finding it difficult to pay for their increasingly expensive coverage
Many of those receiving coverage through the exchange are finding it increasingly difficult to afford their policies, however. The number of those eligible for federal exchanges is falling, and without these subsidies, consumers are having trouble keeping up with premiums. If people cannot afford their insurance policies, fewer people are expected to enroll in the state’s exchange when the next open enrollment period begins in November of this year. With insurers requesting rate increases in the double digits, consumers have begun to express concern about the affordability of health insurance.
Majority of consumers receive federal subsidies for their insurance coverage
An estimates 83% of those that receive federal subsidies from the state’s health insurance exchange. These subsidies are meant to reduce the financial burden that insurance coverage is associated with by reducing premiums. Without federal subsidies, many of those seeking coverage through exchanges would not be able to afford their policies. Consumers are not automatically eligible for subsidies, however, and they must meet certain requirements in order to obtain aid.