The latest casualty of Obamacare may be a low-cost New Jersey health-care policy. Though President Obama promised “if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period,” that will not be the case for approximately 106,000 New Jersey residents whose plans will disappear under the law.
Known as the “basic and essential,” or B&E, health-care plans, the policy costs as little as a couple hundred dollars per month and is the choice of 71 percent of New Jersey residents on the individual insurance market. It provides minimum coverage for things such as doctor’s visits and procedures that don’t involve a hospital stay. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, B&E policy holders will, under Obamacare, “be left with may be a choice among pricey, pricier and priciest” plans.
Currently, the monthly plans go for $150 for a 25-year-old male or $1,100 for a family with parents in their 40s and, as Rutgers University’s Center for State Health Policy director Joel Cantor told the Star-Ledger, it would cost three or four times more for a standard policy on the individual market.
So what happened to the B&E plans? They don’t meet the regulations imposed by the Affordable Care Act because they do not cover services that the law will force every individual health-insurance plan to provide. The Star-Ledger reports that B&E customers who don’t qualify for a federal tax credit to purchase insurance “will see price increases” in the cost of their next plan.
Last year, about a quarter of those enrolled in B&E plans were under the age of 24. The plan is also popular among those who retire early and are looking for cheap coverage before they qualify for Medicare.
UPDATE: This piece has been amended since its original posting.