What New Jersey Residents Need to Know About Obamacare for 2022

Essential facts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) in New Jersey, including whether you must get health insurance, how much it costs, and how you can save money.


How To Sign Up for Obamacare in New Jersey
Do I Have to Get Health Insurance in New Jersey?

Last Reviewed: Mon, Aug 15, 2022

In New Jersey, Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) open enrollment is over, but you may still qualify for 2022 coverage.

This website provides information about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:

To begin, keep in mind these key points about health insurance in New Jersey:

1. New Jersey law requires you to have health insurance.

The federal tax penalty for going without health insurance ended in 2019, but a handful of states, including New Jersey, have enacted laws to replace it. The requirement, called the "state shared responsibility tax," says that New Jersey residents must have health insurance that meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act or face a state tax penalty. (For more information about how the penalty works, including penalty amounts, see the website of the New Jersey Treasury.)

To find out whether you qualify for an exemption to the health insurance requirement, see Do I Have to Get Health Insurance in New Jersey?

2. New Jersey open enrollment has ended, but you may be able to use a special enrollment period to get covered.

In New Jersey, open enrollment for 2022 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) coverage has ended. This means that, unless you qualify for an exception or your income is low enough for Medicaid, you won't be able to get health insurance through GetCoveredNJ until open enrollment for 2023 begins next fall.

If you’ve lost your job or significant income in the past 60 days, whether due to the COVID-19 pandemic or for any other reason, you might qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP). A SEP allows you to sign up for a new health insurance plan or change your current plan outside the open enrollment window.

In addition to job or income loss, many other qualifying events may make you eligible for a SEP. To learn more, see What Happens If I Missed the New Jersey Obamacare Enrollment Deadline?

3. You probably qualify for new Affordable Care Act subsidies.

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The law provides $1.9 trillion of federal aid to Americans struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. The relief measures include additional premium subsidies for those who purchase health insurance through GetCoveredNJ. People who apply for 2022 coverage under a special enrollment period can access these subsidies. (Under the Inflation Reduction Act, the additional subsidies are set to expire at the end of 2025.) In addition, New Jersey is offering new state financial assistance for 2021. Here's a quick summary of the programs available to you:

Federal tax credits. Until the passage of ARPA, the ACA provided premium subsidies only to those whose income fell between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. For example, the cutoff for a family of four in New Jersey used to be $111,000. For an individual, it was $54,360.

Now, no one will have to pay more than 8.5% of their household income for a mid-level plan purchased from GetCoveredNJ. Technically, the subsidies are tax credits, but you can choose to have them automatically deducted from the cost of your monthly premiums when you purchase a plan through GetCoveredNJ.

Cost-sharing subsidies. More than half of the people who purchase coverage through GetCoveredNJ receive assistance in the form of cost-sharing reductions (CSRs). CSRs automatically reduce your premiums and lower your costs when you use your insurance benefits—for example, when you go to the doctor, get lab work, or have to stay in the hospital.

CSRs are available to people who make between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level. (For 2021 health plans, that means a family of four in New Jersey can't earn more than $69,375 and an individual not more than $33,975.) But they are available only on silver plans. If you think you may qualify, look carefully at costs for the silver plans available at GetCoveredNJ while shopping for coverage.

New Jersey health plan savings. Beginning in 2021, New Jerseyans earning under 400% of the federal poverty level will get additional financial help. Individuals may be able to lower their insurance costs by up to $578 per year, while a family of four may see their annual cost drop by as much as $2,313. You'll find out whether you qualify when you apply for health coverage through GetCoveredNJ. This new program is funded by a 2.5% tax on individual and large group health plans sold in New Jersey. 

Medicaid. You may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid in New Jersey if your income is very low.

For more information, see Ways to Save Money on Obamacare in New Jersey.

4. For 2022, more plans will be available through GetCoveredNJ and cost increases are likely to be offset by new subsidies.  

For 2022, you'll have more health plan choices with the addition of Ambetter to the New Jersey marketplace. Ambetter from WellCare of New Jersey will join AmeriHealth, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and Oscar. 

New Jersey's existing insurers will raise premium rates an average of 7.9% for 2022. However, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance states that most people who qualify for financial assistance and purchase a plan through GetCoveredNJ can still get coverage for $10 or less per month. According to the NJDBI, nine out of ten people shopping for insurance will qualify for financial help.

5. You can get help signing up if you need it.

The Biden administration is greatly increasing enrollment assistance plans, making it much easier to get the information you need to get covered. To connect with local support resources, see How To Sign Up for Obamacare in New Jersey.


Jurisdictional relevance: There are versions of this article for each State.
Selected State: New Jersey
How To Sign Up for Obamacare in New Jersey
Do I Have to Get Health Insurance in New Jersey?