Open Enrollment For 2023 — NJ Marketplace is Up and Running
Open enrollment is underway for New Jersey's health care marketplace, and those who get their benefits through an employer will soon be asked to make their 2023 selections for coverage.
The plan choices you make this fall are set in stone for all of next year, unless your life experiences a major shift.
"You want to evaluate all of your options. You want to take time to understand and compare the benefits for each of the plans you might be eligible for," Ashley Muldoon, director of account management for UnitedHealthcare, told us.
Experts are advising New Jersey residents to put some thought into the open enrollment process. The plan you're working with in 2022 may not be the best fit for 2023.
"If your spouse or domestic partner is also going through open enrollment, be sure to sit down together and compare your offerings to see which plans are going to make the most sense for you and your family," Muldoon said.
One of the main obstacles for consumers, advocates say, is weighing the per-paycheck premium versus prices on the other end when they eventually receive medical care.
"Plans with high deductibles, coinsurance, and co-pays typically have lower premiums, making them a more attractive option for many people trying to reduce their monthly bills," said Mary Smith, a board member with Consumers for Quality Care. "However, when seeking care, people with these plans are often left with large bills they aren't able to pay."
CQC research from 2022 found that 60% of voters have skipped or delayed medical care due to potential out-of-pocket costs.
Smith noted that medical debt can have serious financial consequences for consumers. Offering some relief, the three large credit bureaus announced this year that they would clear an estimated 70% of negative medical debt from consumers' credit reports.
Generally, changes to one's health insurance plans cannot be made unless there's a "qualifying life condition," such as a marriage or divorce, or a new child.
Nov. 1 was the launch date for Get Covered New Jersey, the Garden State's official health insurance marketplace for individuals who do not receive insurance through their employer or programs such as Medcaid or Medicare.
Consumers who want coverage at the start of 2023 must buy a plan by Dec. 31. The deadline is Jan. 31 for folks who are fine with coverage beginning on Feb. 1.