January 27, 2023

More New Jerseyers have enrolled for health insurance through state exchanges than ever before, and there is still a week to go before the enrollment deadline, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

HHS reported that as of Jan. 15, 325,534 people have registered with the Get Covered New Jersey state stock exchange, beating last year’s record of 324,266. The number will only increase when registration through the state marketplace closes on Jan. 31, two weeks after federal closes.

“New Jersey has been a huge success in this area,” said Ellen Montz, associate administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and director of the CMS Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

On a conference call with reporters, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and other health officials celebrated a record 16.3 million enrollments on both the national health insurance exchange and state marketplaces. That is 1.8 million more people than in the previous year, an increase of 13%.

They attributed the surge to increased insurance subsidies included in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill and the Climate Change and Public Health Act.

“We’ve made record-breaking progress in expanding coverage and reducing health care costs for American families, saving them money and giving more Americans the peace of mind that comes with affordable health insurance,” Biden said in a statement.

The average New Jersey resident who bought insurance through the state exchange saved $573 a month, with nine out of 10 residents eligible for subsidies, according to the state Department of Banking and Insurance.

“Health insurance is more affordable and accessible than ever,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said on the conference call. “Because of this, more people than ever have signed up.”

The federal government also ramped up efforts to encourage exchanges and help people get online and get insurance. Under President Donald Trump, who unsuccessfully tried to repeal the health care law, funding for individuals helping Americans register was cut.

Wednesday’s announcement was the second time in two days that Biden administration officials have highlighted their efforts to increase coverage and reduce health care costs, a top voter concern in the 2018 midterm election that helped Democrats gain control winning over the House of Representatives and in the 2020 presidential election, with Biden winning the presidency and the Democrats taking the Senate.

On Tuesday, Becerra and other HHS officials said nearly 40,000 New Jersey residents would save an average of $511 a year because the Climate Change and Public Health Act capped insulin costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $35 a month .

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Jonathan D Salant can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him up @JDSalant.

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