TRENTON, NJ — Gov. Phil Murphy announced the launch of the state’s official health insurance marketplace, Get Covered New Jersey, which is now open to residents to browse health plans, compare prices and find out if they may qualify for financial help.
The unveiling, made at his November 15 coronavirus press briefing, comes ahead of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period that begins November 1. New Jersey residents will no longer use HealthCare.gov to enroll in marketplace health insurance plans. Instead, help will only be available through Get Covered New Jersey.
The governor says that individuals eligible for subsidy assistance and premium tax credits will find the lowest net premiums since the passage of the ACA, or "Obamacare."
Get Covered New Jersey provides a one-stop shop for health insurance for residents who do not have coverage from an employer or other program. Additionally, the governor says that it is the only place residents can get financial help to purchase a plan.
The governor claims that more financial help than ever before is available to eligible residents shopping on the state marketplace as a result of new state subsidies passed by the Legislature and signed by him.
“Our administration has fought for improved access to quality affordable health coverage for residents based on the fundamental principle that health care is a right. The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for all residents to have health coverage and there is no more important time than now for New Jersey to make the transition to its own health insurance marketplace,” said Murphy.
Gov. Murphy said at the press briefing that the N.J. Department of Labor is getting ready to distribute up to $1.5 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Lost Wages Assistance program. Eligible claimants can expect to see this money as a lump sum in their bank accounts or on their debit cards early next week, he said.
According to the labor department, more than 29,000 New Jerseyans filed an initial claim for unemployment this week — an increase of roughly 5,500 from last week. Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, more than 1.65 million residents have sought unemployment benefits, with nearly 1.44 million of those qualifying for benefits.
"Roughly 96 percent of all who have been deemed eligible have received a payment and that's a total of $16.5 billion, and the average worker has received nearly $12,000 in benefits," Murphy said. "(Labor) Commissioner Robert Asaro Angelo and his team continue their work to clear all eligible beneficiaries for the funds they deserve, and that includes their work to implement the new $300 per week FEMA Lost Wages Assistance Program to people whose unemployment is COVID related."
Thanksgiving and the Holidays
With the holiday season approaching, Murphy and Persichilli expressed the importance of vigilance during indoor gatherings. "We urge everyone to take stock of how many people you may be inviting to your Thanksgiving table," Murphy said.
Persichilli said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that small gatherings are an increasing source of spread of COVID-19.
"Last week, the CDC released a study of a family gathering where extended family members stayed in a house together for several weeks. That led to an outbreak," she said. "One adolescent with COVID-19 spread the virus to 11 other family members, including her mother, father and grandparents."
Latest COVID-19 Numbers
Murphy announced that he received notification of 973 new positive COVID-19 test results, bringing the statewide cumulative total to 216,994. He reported six new fatalities due to COVID-19 complications, which brings the statewide total to 14,408 confirmed and another 1,789 probable deaths.
Regarding school reopenings, the governor said that many districts are transitioning from all-remote to hybrid learning models. He said that full, in-class sessions will take a lot longer.
"We've begun to see a migration from all-remote to hybrid. The migration to full-on school will be a lot less," Murphy said, adding that 22 outbreaks can be traced to New Jersey schools. "Six weeks into the school year, to have 22 cases of known transmission covering 83 people is well within any reasonable expectation that we had."
Murphy said that the statewide positivity rate for all tests recorded on October 11 was 4.35 percent, and the statewide rate of transmission today sits at 1.16. He added that as of 10 p.m. on October 14, there were 542 confirmed cases and 191 persons under investigation (for a total of 733). Of those hospitalized, 178 were in ICU and 60 required a ventilator.
Commissioner of Health Judith Persichilli reported that New Jersey is now in the 'yellow zone' for the first time and that percentages are up in every section of the state, except the southeast.
- Click here for the New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard.
- Click here for Monmouth County’s latest coronavirus information.
- Click here for Monmouth University’s COVID-19 Campus Dashboard.
Below is a video of Gov. Murphy's November 15 press briefing:
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