01:17 AM

Last call for individual market consumers to purchase health care coverage and the security it provides, for remainder of 2017

Individuals who are not insured through an employer have until midnight tomorrow (January 31) to purchase coverage for 2017. The end of the 2017 open enrollment period for individual coverage tomorrow means that absent meeting eligibility criteria for a special enrollment exception, consumers not covered through employment or a government program will not be able to purchase insurance in the individual market until 2018 and be liable for 100% of any health expenses they incur in 2017. A recent study released by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 59% of people who reported they had been contacted by a debt collector said it was for medical services.

To help those still seeking coverage, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) is keeping its phone lines open late until midnight Tuesday, January 31. Consumers shopping for insurance

“The cost of even a single trip to the emergency room can quickly exceed the annual cost of an insurance policy,” said Michael J. Considine, vice president of Consumer and Small Group Markets for Horizon BCBSNJ. “Health insurance coverage protects consumers against the potentially astronomical cost of paying medical costs out of pocket.” “We urge all consumers still without coverage to sign up for coverage which, for approximately 80 percent of consumers, can include financial assistance that dramatically reduces the cost of insurance,” Considine added, noting that 44,000 New Jerseyans were eligible for, but didn’t take advantage of, federal financial assistance in 2016.

“Although recent events in Washington D.C. have brought some uncertainty to the future of the marketplace, the best thing consumers can do to ensure their access to affordable coverage is to enroll now,” Considine continued.

Online bi-lingual, self-service sales portal:

Consumers can visit www.shop.horizonblue.com 24-7 and in a few simple steps learn if they qualify for a subsidy, compare plans, and enroll.

Extended Phone Center Hours:

Those who want to determine if they qualify for financial assistance, learn about our plans and enroll can call 1-866-260-2444 or 800-224-1234 to speak directly with Horizon BCBSNJ sales agents, including bilingual agents.

Phone agents will be available during the following operating hours:
Now through Tuesday, January 31: 8 a.m. to Midnight

The Horizon Sales Phone Center will resume normal business hours on February 1: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - to 8 p.m and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

New Jerseyans can also visit a retail service center, including two operated jointly with Hola Doctor, to obtain one-on-one, in-person assistance:

Horizon BCBSNJ Mall Locations:

Open Monday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Horizon BCBSNJ kiosks are open in the following mall locations through January 31:

  • Woodbridge Center -- 250 Woodbridge Center Drive, Woodbridge, NJ.
  • Ocean County Mall – 1201 Hooper Ave., Toms River, NJ.
  • Newport Centre Mall -- 30 Mall Drive West, Jersey City, NJ.
  • Willowbrook Mall -- 1400 Willowbrook Mall Rd., Wayne, NJ.

Horizon Offices/Connect Retail Center:

  • Horizon Connect Retail Center in Burlington County - 1680 Nixon Drive, East Gate Square. Moorestown, NJ 08057 Open Monday-Friday: 9am-7pm and Saturday 9am-4pm.
  • Horizon Retail Center in Newark – 3 Penn Plaza East, Newark, NJ 07105 Open Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm Hola Doctor sales and service centers:

Open Monday-Friday 9am-9pm and Saturday –Sunday 9am-5pm.
Jersey City - 353 Central Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07307 1-844-440-2233
Perth Amboy - 197 Smith Street, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.