|New Jersey is in an odd situation in that most of the Healthcare.gov (Obamacare/ACA-complaint) options decreased in price. The main reason for this: Your state chose to keep the individual mandate (tax/fine) for not having Obamacare/Affordable Care Act-complaint health insurance. Although I’m located in Willow Grove, PA, I handle the entire state of NJ, where I work with hundreds of clients. I’m also referred by Healthcare.gov to consumers whenever they need to speak to an agent.
There exist misconceptions regarding the service of brokers, and with all the “nonsense insurance products” being pushed and service fees charged, this is rightfully so. Any true independent health insurance broker is paid by health insurance carriers to assist consumers. The price I quote you is the exact same as if you were to call the companies directly or Healthcare.gov. I do not charge any fee whatsoever, because I build my business by truly helping consumers. Carriers will sell to you, but they cannot give you personal help and attention (or shop their competition). I am paid every month when happy clients pay their bill, so it is in my best interest to make sure you find coverage that is right for you and your family.
Here is a quick run-down of the carriers I work with in New Jersey and some of the real alternatives out there. Unfortunately none of the individual health insurance options offer national network access. Click here to quote!
Amerihealth – Amerihealth offers the most affordable options, however I caution you to pay attention to the networks. These affordable options are with the “Local Value” HMO tiered network (this includes the “Advantage” plans). I do not trust provider look-ups on websites, and always instruct clients to call their doctor/other provider billing offices to make sure they accept a plans’ network. Amerihealth’s “Regional Preferred” network is outstanding, but very costly.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield- Horizon is the most costly of the three individual insurance carriers in NJ, but they have the best networks. There are two network options: “Omnia” and “Advantage”. Omnia is a “tiered” network but is the more affordable option, and Advantage is the stronger but more costly option.
Oscar – Not to be confused with Oxford (United Healthcare) who has not offered individual health insurance in NJ since 2016. Oscar is more known in New York City, but has been in New Jersey for the last few years (they left in 2017 but came back in 2018). Oscar does not play “network games”. Either the doctor accepts Oscar or not. The plans are basic but offer really nice benefits including prescription coverage. They are a small insurance company but have solid financial backing. As long as you check that you providers accept Oscar, it’s a really solid choice. Their pricing falls in the middle of Amerihealth and Horizon.
For Obamacare alternatives, New Jersey is limited, and I challenge consumers to really vet all the weird products they are receiving phone calls about. First off, Short Term Medical and most “indemnity” plans are prohibited from doing business in NJ due to state laws. “Associations” pose a great alternative, but check to make sure they meet NJ state guidelines. I can’t even believe some of the garbage people are being offered, and the shady practices of the sales people. I offer only real insurance products and I’m constantly taking people off of garbage plans and putting them back on real insurance.
A popular association I’ve used as an Obamacare-alternative is Aliera Healthcare, which is a “Christian Ministry”. I like Aliera because they are the most reputable, personable and understanding of alternative options. To view their plans click here! I have been told from my contacts at Amerihealth that Aliera does not meet the state’s guidelines to avoid the fine. Despite this, Aliera is great for someone who can not afford the Obamacare, or missed the open enrollment period and does not have a special-election/life event to purchase Obamacare-complaint insurance for the year (open enrollment is Nov 1 – Dec 15).
The only true alternative I have for my clients in New Jersey is through a New York based union/association for anyone who is actively employed and can pass their health underwriting. This is a fantastic option and they are currently offering 3 plans which use United Healthcare Choice Plus PPO. These plans cost: $549 ($1,356 family) with a $6,795 deductible HSA, $660 ($1,644 family) with a $2,500 deductible, and $1,085 ($2,771 family) with a $0 deductible. The union/association requires that interested clients contact me directly and I can e-mail or send via post an enrollment kit complete with plans and pricing and application.
I also work with group insurance in New Jersey, as well as life, disability, fixed annuities, Medicare supplements, home, auto, and business insurance. I can handle any situation you can throw at me.
Visit my website, contact me on social media, send me a text, an email, or call me anytime. My assistant Robyn Barto (also an agent licensed in NJ) and I work every hour of every day up until the December 15th deadline (Mon-Fri regular business hours after that). We also have a store front in Willow Grove, PA.
Have a safe and happy holiday season, we are here to help make this process easy!
Joseph L Covell
Independent Insurance Broker
Custom Benefit Plans, Inc.
616 Easton Rd
Willow Grove, PA 19090