18:49 PM

Buying health coverage during open enrollment – 5 things you need to know



Open enrollment has begun, and coverage isn't optional.

Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare” coverage started November 1st. Open enrollment is when consumers have the opportunity to purchase coverage policies for the enrollment year that begins January 1, 2022. This year, consumers will find more lower cost options, additional financial help with monthly premiums and ample time to sign up for coverage in an ACA plan.

Here are five things health insurance consumers need to know as they shop around for a 2022 plan in the individual market:

1. New year, low costs

Horizon continues to offer competitive pricing and value, particularly with its Silver tier products. Nearly three-quarters of all consumers in the Individual Market have a Silver plan. For 2022, Horizon’s OMNIA Silver Value plan is among the lowest priced products in its metallic class, and Horizon’s new Silver Value Access Plan has the lowest premium of all ACA products in its four-county service area, featuring a network subset that includes Atlantic Health System and Hunterdon Healthcare for residents of Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.

2. More consumers than ever qualify for financial help

About 9 out of 10 residents purchasing through the exchange will qualify for financial help. This represents an increase over last year due primarily to the enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act, which significantly increased the amount of financial help available in 2022 to consumers.

3. There are more ways and higher income qualifications for financial help to lower or eliminate premiums

Under changes from the American Rescue Plan, no one pays more than 8.5 percent of their income for health insurance (as measured against the benchmark plan). These changes enable New Jersey, under a law enacted by Governor Phil Murphy, to boost state subsidies available to eligible consumers and to qualify consumers with higher income levels for the first time for this assistance. Now, individuals earning $77,280 and a family of four with income up to $159,000 are eligible for financial help.

4. Coverage (still) isn't optional

Under New Jersey’s “individual mandate” almost every state resident to have health insurance. First enacted in 2018, this requirement remains in place, so if you don’t get coverage from your employer or qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, you need to select a health plan during open enrollment. If you don’t, you will pay a penalty when you pay your state taxes.

5. Horizon is here to offer personalized, 1-on-1 counseling

Whether you are a first-time shopper or have experience buying an individual health plan, there are bound to be questions. To help you safely get the answers to all your questions, Horizon offers personalized virtual or in-person appointments with plan experts who can answer your questions. In-person, on the phone, or virtually during a web-based consult, you’ll be able to learn about the enrollment process, what new benefits and services are available for 2022, how the state subsidy program can mean an even lower monthly premium, find the right coverage for less, and new benefits and services. By visiting http://www.horizonblue.com/MeetOnline or calling 1-800-224-1234 consumers can schedule a one-on-one web-based consult, speak to an expert to set up a plan review or find locations near them for a face-to-face consultation. As always, Horizon plan experts will be available at:

  • Horizon Connect locations in Moorestown and Union City
  • Hola Doctor offices in Perth Amboy and Jersey City
  • Sanitas Medical Centers in Union City, Belleville and Blue to You kiosks at the Bergen Town Center (Paramus), and Willowbrook Mall, (Wayne).

The individual market enrollment period began on November 1, 2021, and ends on January 31, 2022. Consumers must sign up by December 31, 2021 for coverage starting January 1, 2022; if they enroll by January 31, 2022, coverage will take effect February 1, 2022.