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New Jersey Health Insurance Mandate

Under the New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act, New Jersey residents must have health insurance beginning January 1, 2019.

People who don’t have “minimum essential coverage” (MEC) may have to pay a penalty. This law is similar to the ACA individual mandate.

Most basic health coverage will satisfy the requirement. This includes health plans offered by employers, Medicare and Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and other MEC programs.

Plans that offer only limited benefits like dental and vision do not meet the requirement.

The law applies to people who file income taxes in New Jersey. People who do not have to file a New Jersey return are exempt.

It’s also possible to get an exemption for other reasons like short gaps in coverage or unaffordable coverage options.

The Role of Employers

The State requires third-party proof that people have the required coverage. Starting with the 2019 tax year,

Employers and other providers of MEC must send coverage information to the State each tax year. Visit the New Jersey Health Insurance Mandate website for full details on who must file.

The information required by the State is the same information the IRS requires for ACA filings.

While the State would prefer to receive information for New Jersey residents only, employers are permitted to send the same “full” files they send to the IRS.

Employers who wish to send full files should check the laws of their state(s) to make sure they don’t violate any privacy or other laws.

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