NJ insurance department could launch its own health plan

A New Jersey legislator introduced a bill that would require state health, banking and insurance departments to create a government-operated health plan to help stabilize the state's volatile exchange, reports NJ.com.

The New Jersey Public Option Health Care Act would be available to all consumers through the state exchange.

The bill aims to give consumers another insurance option to choose from, as New Jersey's marketplace will experience a significant decline in competition next year. Three carriers — Oscar, Health Republic of New Jersey and Oxford Health Plans — will discontinue plans through New Jersey's exchange in 2017, leaving only two carriers.

New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute President and CEO Linda Schwimmer told NJ.com the bill in its current form faces a number of legal challenges to implementation. "From our state's current fiscal status to just how insurance operates, there is a lot that would need to be fleshed out for this to be workable," Ms. Schwimmer said.

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