Cheap health insurance coverage in New Jersey can be found shopping on the New Jersey Health Insurance Marketplace or through eligibility for a Medicaid plan if your household income is low enough. Among Silver plans offered on the exchange either the IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35 and IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75 will be the cheapest available options in most counties. Unlike most of the other states there isn't much variation between the pricing of plans among the counties in New Jersey.
Cheapest Health Insurance Coverage by Metal Tier
To help speed your shopping up we looked at the cheapest plans by metal tier available on the state exchange. Note that these plans may not be available in all areas of the state but are a good starting point for the types of benefits and costs you can expect.
- Catastrophic: Horizon Advantage EPO Essentials
- (Deductible: $7,150 / Out of Pocket Maximum: $7,150)
- Bronze: IHC Bronze EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $25/$50
- (Deductible: $3,000 / Out of Pocket Maximum: $7,150)
- Silver: IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15 / $35
- (Deductible: $2,500 / Out of Pocket Maximum: $6,600)
- Gold: OMNIA Gold
- (Deductible: $0 / Out of Pocket Maximum: $4,650)
As you can see the higher level plans have lower deductibles and out of pocket maximums but will come at a higher premium cost overall. The cost of coverage will depend on the type of plan you choose and your age. Higher tiered plans will cost more as will older individuals shopping for these plans. For illustrative purposes we took a look at the average cost of plans by the different metal tiers and what they would cost at ages 21, 40 and 60.
Cheapest Health Insurance Coverage in New Jersey
Your cheapest options for health care coverage will depend on your income levels. The state of New Jersey has expanded its Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act meaning that people with incomes under 138% of the Federal Poverty Level ($16,242 in household income for a single individual or $33,465 for a family of 4) will be covered by the government sponsored coverage. If you don't qualify for Medicaid your best options for a cheap plan will either be a Bronze or Silver plan through the New Jersey Marketplace on Healthcare.gov. Only plans that are enrolled through the exchange will allow for consumers with incomes under $46,000 to qualify for tax subsidies to reduce the premium expenses.
Cheapest Silver Plan By County
When it comes to the cost of healthcare you should factor in both premiums and out of pocket costs. Getting a cheap plan for your situation is about finding the right balance between the two. Plans with lower premiums will generally have higher deductibles, copays and coinsurance meaning that you will be responsible for a higher proportion of costs before the plans benefits kick in. Generally, those people with higher expected medical care should opt for higher premiums and lower cost sharing while those who are healthier and rarely use medical care should look for the opposite.
Silver tiered plans are a good middle ground for most consumers as they balance premiums and out of pocket cost sharing. They are also designed to be the only type of plan that are eligible for additional cost sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies that kick in if your income is less than $29,425 for a single person. These cost sharing reductions can actually improve the benefits of these plans to be comparable to higher priced gold and platinum plans. Consumers that qualify for CSR silver plans are almost always better off choosing one of these plans since they will out perform more expensive plans. To help with your shopping we've listed the cheapest silver plan available in each county in New Jersey and costs for a 21 year old and a 41 year old non-smoking shopper.
|County||Silver Plan||Age 21||Age 40|
|Atlantic||IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35||$264||$338|
|Bergen||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Burlington||IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35||264||338|
|Camden||IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35||264||338|
|Cape May||IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35||264||338|
|Cumberland||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Essex||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Gloucester||IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35||264||338|
|Hudson||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Hunterdon||OMNIA Silver HSA||276||353|
|Mercer||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Middlesex||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Monmouth||IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35||264||338|
|Morris||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Ocean||IHC Silver EPO AmeriHealth Advantage $15/$35||264||338|
|Passaic||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Salem||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Somerset||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Sussex||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Union||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
|Warren||IHC Silver EPO H.S.A. Tier 1 Advantage $50/$75||265||339|
Healthier and Younger Consumers and Cheap Bronze Plans
At the lower end of the premium spectrum are the Bronze and Catastrophic plans which have very high cost sharing benefits but lower premiums. These types of plans usually have deductibles in the $5,000-$7,000 range and only once you've met these conditions will the plan start covering your care. Even so there are two major economic benefits of having a higher deductible plan. The first is that in the case of emergency care or some catastrophic expense you will be protected from bills that may range in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The second is that even if you're paying for an expense out of pocket before meeting the deductible, the amount you will pay is based on the cost negotiated between the insurance company and the medical provider. This negotiated price is much lower than what the service provider usually charges.
Health Insurance Companies in New Jersey
In 2017 there will only be 3 insurers selling plans on the state exchange: AmeriHealth HMO, AmeriHealth Insurance Company and Horizon Healthcare Services. (Horizon Healthcare Services markets its plan under the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand.) This is down from the 6 companies offering plans in 2016, with Oxford and Oscar Insurance pulling out and Freelancers CO-OP, better known as Health Republic of New Jersey being forced to shut down this year. Consumers can expect all three existing companies to offer plans in every county this year.