Urban League of Hudson County working to make sure residents have health insurance

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The Urban League of Hudson County is working to assist residents who are seeking a new health insurance plan next year by collaborating with the “Get Covered New Jersey” program.

Photo via NJ. gov.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

The State of New Jersey has set up their own health exchange for people to get health insurance as an alternative to going through the federal health marketplace, commonly known as Obamacare.

Those with a plan through the marketplace living in New Jersey will automatically be transferred to Get Covered New Jersey.

“The Urban League is committed to lifting up the marginal and underserved … Hudson County has some challenges with reaching those who are uninsured,” said their health navigator, Kevin Jones.“

He explained that due to COVID-19, they are only providing remote assistance remotely, however, he said they will remain active on social media and plan to give presentations through there.

“I think the platform is more intuitive this time around,” Jones said regarding Get Covered.

In addition to being easier to navigate that the federal marketplace, Jones said that the program also incorporates the New Jersey Family Care program to help people more efficiently.

Additionally, Jones said New Jersey has earmarked funds to assist with the tax reconciliation to pay less for out of pocket costs.

“At a time like this, it’s really important,” Jones said regarding the pandemic and the health scare it has caused … It’s a move in the right direction,” he added.

There are 10 core elements in all the plans provided, access though can sometimes depend on the health insurance company and the network someone is a part of. 

For example, one of those elements is eliminating the expense of an ambulance for people rushed to the emergency room.

One of the main issues with healthcare under the ACA in Hudson County was ensuring people have a general practitioner who periodically checks their health. 

“Now, there is a comparison tool so you can see if your preferred doctor is on that plan … Their projections for health outcomes are better,” he said regarding those with a primary care physician.

Those with a plan through the federal marketplace and are automatically renewed will be enrolled in a new plan for 2021 on Get Covered New Jersey. 

Other nonprofit organizations besides the Urban League, such as the Metropolitan Family Health Network, Inc., and HOPES CAP, inc. are deploying Certified Assisters to help people, including English as a Second Language (ESL) speakers, in Hudson County and the state find health insurance. 

Get Covered New Jersey Certified Assisters have been taught to help people understand their options for health insurance. 

Open enrollment in Get Covered began on November 1st and ends January 31st, while the marketplace enrollment ends December 15th. Enrolling at another time of the year requires special circumstances such as marriage and others.

Subsidies are provided for health plans based on income. Those with a greater need receive larger subsidies that are automatically applied to their health insurance.

The Urban League of Hudson County often assists with finding healthcare, such as locating  Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which provide a wide array of health services to cope with many issues. 

Furthermore, the establishment of Get Covered New Jersey is especially relevant since many expect President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointees to rule against Obamacare, affecting its ability to operate.

“New Jersey is doing the right thing,” Jones concluded.