Special HR Alert: Feds Will Run Health Insurance Exchange: What it Means for NJ Employers

Printer-friendly version

With Governor Christie deciding not to authorize the state to create and administer a health insurance exchange, New Jersey will join 25 other states and rely on the federal government to organize and run the facility.

The exchange will be a marketplace to buy insurance for those who aren’t covered by their employers or don’t receive government-provided insurance like Medicare and Medicaid. The primary way to access the exchange will be a website where workers and small business owners will be able to compare plans and determine whether they are eligible for subsidies.

The exchange is expected to clearly list differences between what each health plan offers and how much it will cost.  Employers were supposed to notify their employees about the exchange in February, 2013 but that requirement has been pushed back most likely until August.  The exchange itself is expected to be taking open enrollment in October for 2014 plans.

As of January 1, 2014 most Americans will be required to have health care coverage.  Workers without coverage or who cannot afford the coverage offered by their employer will be able to purchase insurance from the exchange website.  Employers with 50 or more “full-time or full-time equivalent” employees during the preceding calendar year (2013) may be required to pay a penalty if it fails to offer health insurance coverage or does not offer adequate and affordable coverage. Part-time and seasonal employees are counted in calculating “full-time” employees.