NJ Advocates Concerned About Health Insurance Changes

Aug 16, 2017

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Ray Castro is an analyst at New Jersey Policy Perspective

Health care advocates in New Jersey say even though efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have failed, uncertainty about potential changes in the health care marketplace is confusing consumers.

The biggest concern is President Trump's threat to cut federal subsidies that reduce costs for low-income consumers who buy coverage in the health insurance marketplace.

Maura Collinsgru with New Jersey Citizen Action says about half of the 266,000 enrollees in the ACA marketplace in New Jersey receive those subsidies and without them premiums could rise more than 20 percent.

"It's a huge impact on our market and something that really threatens the stability and the numbers of people. We could see a huge spike in the number of uninsured based upon all of the challenges that this is presenting."

Advocates are urging Congress to maintain the subsidies, but Ray Castro with New Jersey Policy Perspective doubts that'll happen before the November 1st start of the new insurance enrollment period.

"We all know how difficult it is to get anything through Congress, and they're on recess so we're talking about two weeks basically in September to get all this done. So, it's going to be a huge challenge. I mean I'm a little skeptical that they're going to be able to get it done. So, we're very worried about it."