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Greenwald, Lopez & Lampitt Bill to Protect Residents against Rate Hikes to Insurance Plans under New State-Based Health Exchange Signed Into Law

Measure a Part of a Comprehensive 12-Bill Legislative Package Introduced in the Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lou Greenwald and Yvonne Lopez to establish a rate increase review process in the Department of Banking and Insurance for individual and small employer health benefits plans under the newly proposed state-based health exchange was signed into law by the Governor on Thursday.

Currently, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), New Jersey is required to maintain a process to review health insurance rate increases according to certain criteria that identifies “unreasonable” rate increases and requires health insurance carriers to provide justifications for them. This law makes those federal requirements a part of New Jersey statutory law, so that consumers in the State have those protections in the event that the ACA is repealed or modified.

“The Affordable Care Act has helped tens of thousands of New Jersey residents gain access to healthcare for themselves and their families,” said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “With this law, we are keeping healthcare affordable for working families by preventing unreasonable rate hikes for the insured, preserving the substantial progress we’ve made on increasing access to quality healthcare in New Jersey.”

“The Affordable Care Act has changed the lives of many New Jersey families,” said Assemblywoman Lopez (D-Middlesex). “Protecting families against unjustified rate changes is critical to maintaining and expanding access to healthcare in the State for many more residents.”

“This is the next practical step in protecting thousands of New Jerseyans who have been afforded healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act,” said Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington). “The key is to ensure health insurance remains affordable for all residents by keeping an eye on and preventing unnecessary rate increases.”

The full Assembly approved the measure 58-20-0 in June 2019.