According to a new study from Rutgers University, the Affordable Care Act has substantially reduced the number of uninsured New Jerseyans from more than 1 million to 430,000. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Dr. Jaime Torres told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the number of New Jerseyans enrolled in health care plans under the Affordable Care Act has been a great victory for the state.
Torres said the Health Department is celebrating after hearing the change in the number of uninsured people. He said that this has been a great victory in New Jersey, surpassing expectations in terms of private insurance because they were counting on 118,000 and 162,000 enrolled. He said that the Medicare numbers are over 100,000.
Torres said that the Rutgers study confirmed what they were hoping would happen. He said that with all the glitches that happened at the beginning of the Affordable Care Act rollout, the Health Department didn’t know what the final outcome would be, but the study shows the need for health insurance and that people really want it.
Some people are still unhappy about the Affordable Care Act, but Torres said that is because of the lack of information and misinformation.
Torres said that he thinks the small business aspect of the ACA will be one of the important items that the department will be working on this summer in preparation for Nov. 15, when the open enrollment period begins for coverage starting in 2015. He said that for the small business aspect, people can enroll throughout the year. He said that there is more work to be done for the small business aspect of the ACA.
“The Affordable Care Act and the marketplace are for people who are uninsured, small businesses and not for people who have insurance like Medicaid or Medicare,” said Torres.
Torres said for people who move to New Jersey, there is still a special enrollment period.
“We expect nationally to enroll 25 million people in four years. There is a lot of work ahead of us. The people and the partners in the Garden State have been terrific,” said Torres.