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Senator Nia H. Gill, D-Essex and Passaic, speaks about her legislation to create a State-run health exchange program in New Jersey.

New Federal Rules Allow NJ to Permit Renewal of Health Insurance Policies that Otherwise Would Be Cancelled Under ACA

TRENTON – Senate Commerce Chair Nia H. Gill announced today that she will convene a hearing of the committee to discuss the option provided to New Jersey to allow insurers to continue selling health insurance policies that are scheduled to expire on January 1st and do not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s minimum coverage requirements.

“This is an important decision that could affect 800,000 New Jerseyans whose health insurance plans are set to end on January 1st, as well as impact the overall insurance market in our state,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex). “This is certainly a matter that cannot be taken lightly or without public discussion by the decision makers. We hope to hear from Commissioner Kobylowski on how this option will affect the residents of our state. The hearing will also provide an opportunity for experts to weigh in.”

The federal government announced new rules this month concerning insurance plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act. This new “transitional policy” would permit insurers to continue to sell certain health plans through 2014 that do not comply with quality standards contained in the ACA. The federal government has left it to state insurance regulators to decide whether to utilize this option. Currently, about 800,000 New Jersey residents are covered under policies that do not meet the standards.

Senator Gill has invited Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Kenneth Kobylowski to discuss the department’s decision, and the factors the department has weighed – or is continuing to weigh – in reaching it. The committee will also hear from invited witnesses, including health policy experts and stakeholders.

The hearing will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. in Committee Room 6 of the Statehouse Annex.

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