NJPP Senior Policy Analyst Says Individuals Need To Review Insurance Options

Since the start of the Affordable Care Act, there has been some confusion surrounding existing policies and changes made to those policies. New Jersey Policy Perspective Senior Policy Analyst Raymond Castro told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the confusion around the Affordable Care Act is that people think they will lose their health coverage.

“This issue of whether or not people can renew their plan applies to 800,000 individuals and the individual in small group market. But most of them already have comprehensive coverage so they’re going to see very little change when they have to renew their plans next year,” Castro said.

Castro explained that the big change for individuals with basic and essential plans that the state allowed a few years ago are going to be better under the Affordable Care Act. He also said that most consumers are going to be happy with the difference because they will be eligible for subsidies which allow for comprehensive insurance.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie decided to let insurance companies keep the existing policies for a while longer to avoid the confusion from the Affordable Care Act. Castro believes that people should go on the marketplace and find out what kind of health insurance benefits are available to them and what the subsidies are. If people review other options, they might not want to renew their current insurance policies, according to Castro.

“Individuals, before they make that decision, it’s very important that they go into the marketplace and find out what kind of deals they can get there and most cases they can get a better deal than what they have now,” said Castro.

As for the behavior and response of the insurance companies, Castro said that they are doing the best that they can. There can be some concern from insurance companies about their customers and it can be difficult for the companies to make the changes that are needed surrounding the Affordable Care Act, according to Castro.

Castro also said there can be consequences for people who extend their plans. It can drive up the cost in the marketplace for people who are paying for comprehensive coverage.