Month: June 2015

New Jersey Health Insurance and Obamacare

Say what you will about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but it has allowed many to have New Jersey health insurance who could not get it in the past. It has also forced unethical companies to behave in the best interest of its customers on some very important issues.

Adding adult children

If you have an adult child who is not yet 26 years old, it is possible to add him or her to your policy. It will cost you a fee, but it will allow them to get coverage they may not otherwise be able to obtain.  They don’t have to live with you. They don’t even have to live in your same city. It doesn’t matter if they are married. They can still go on your policy.

No one likes a surprise rate hike, but this was not uncommon before the Act. Now, New Jersey health insurance companies must obtain the approval of the state before they increase rates.  This is a great boon to consumers, who had no recourse in the past.

Overly-high executive pay used to rankle customers. But now, the Affordable Care act mandates that companies spend at least 80 percent of their premiums on medical services, not on executive pay or advertising for new customers. If they do not, they must pay any overages back to policyholders and some have been made to do so.

No denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions

One of the most frustrating things was to get denied coverage for what a company called a  “pre-existing condition. New Jersey health insurance now must cover patients with pre-existing conditions. This consumer benefit alone has made so many people happy.

Parents who have children with chronic illnesses were pleased to see that a new insurer is not allowed to refuse coverage for a child that has a chronic illness. That has saved countless parents thousands upon thousands of dollars.

Another questionable activity used to be the dropping of coverage for someone who got sick—or limiting the amount of benefit they could use for a specific ailment. Again, this is now illegal.

It is true that many New Jersey health insurance companies behaved ethically. But for those who didn’t, their rules and regulations changed to favor the consumer.

Many New Jersey people have benefited from the consumer-friendly legislation that has put insurance within reach of so many more people.