Short-term health plans in New Jersey
- Long-standing state law does not allow the sale of short-term health insurance in New Jersey.
- New Jersey requires all plans to provide full-year coverage, comprehensive benefits, and be guaranteed-issue and guaranteed-renewable.
- New Jersey will continue to prohibit the sale of short-term plans, so the new federal rules do not apply in the state.
- Regulators have cautioned that expanding short-term health insurance in new Jersey and other states will ultimately be detrimental for consumers.
Who can get short-term health insurance in New Jersey, and when should I consider it?
The sale of short-term health insurance plans has, for all intents and purposes, been prohibited in New Jersey since 1993. New Jersey statute 17B:27A-3 governs individual health insurance plans, and does not allow short-term limited duration plans to be sold to New Jersey residents.
The statute requires all plans sold to individuals in New Jersey to provide full-year coverage, “comprehensive benefits that exceed the requirements of the Affordable Care Act” and must be guaranteed issue and guaranteed renewable. These terms are not compatible with short-term plans, so short-term coverage is essentially prohibited in the state.
Since short-term health plans are not available in New Jersey, we advise you to check whether you’re eligible for a special enrollment period that would allow you to enroll in an ACA-compliant major medical plan.
There are a variety of qualifying life events that will trigger a special enrollment period allowing you to buy a plan through the health insurance marketplace in New Jersey. These plans are purchased on a month-to-month basis, so you can enroll in a plan even if you only need coverage for a few months before another policy takes effect (with a premium subsidy if you’re eligible).
Based on your income you may also qualify for health insurance in New Jersey under expanded Medicaid coverage. When the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, Medicaid expansion was a cornerstone of lawmakers’ efforts to expand realistic access to healthcare to as many people as possible. If you have a household income up to 133 percent of poverty (138 percent with the 5 percent income disregard) would be able to enroll in Medicaid.
New Jersey’s short-term health insurance regulations – The ban will continue
In April 2018, after the Trump Administration had proposed new rules to change the federal definition of “short-term, limited duration” (rules that have since been finalized), the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance submitted comments noting that short-term plans have not been sold in New Jersey for 25 years, and clarifying that the state’s ban on short-term plans would continue, regardless of any changes at the federal level.
New Jersey’s acting insurance commissioner has cautioned that expanding access to short-term plans in other states would ultimately be detrimental to consumers. The comments noted that the coverage offered by short-term plans is inferior to the coverage offered in the ACA-compliant market (and in New Jersey’s state-regulated market), results in adverse selection for more comprehensive plans, and could ultimately lead to insurers withdrawing from the ACA-compliant market in states that allow short-term health insurance plans.
Short-term plans duration in New Jersey
Due to regulations preventing the sale of short-term health insurance in New Jersey there are no plans available and subsequently no period of short-term plan duration.
Which insurers offer short-term plans in New Jersey
There are zero providers of short-term health insurance in New Jersey
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.