New Jersey has opted to leave the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) federal exchange at and create its own online portal for the start of the 2021 health insurance open enrollment period.


New Jersey Gov. Murphy

“A New Jersey exchange will be a strong measure of independence at a time when the federal administration continues to undermine and weaken the federal marketplace,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during a news conference at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

The governor, a Democrat, said he had already sent a notice of intent to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Having their own exchange would ensure that New Jersey residents would find health care in the state “more accessible, accountable and more responsive,” he explained.

Since taking office in 2018, Murphy has been instrumental in having the state enact its own individual mandate — have insurance or pay a fine — and in setting up a reinsurance program to help cover the costs borne by the state’s high-risk residents.

Both moves are credited with a 9 percent drop in the average price for health care plans sold on the state’s individual market this year.