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New Brunswick/Camden -- With the main parts of the Affordable Care Act now going into effect, NJPIRG Law & Policy Center (LPC) has launched a statewide education campaign reaching out to students with facts about the changes, and tips to help them find the right coverage for themselves.
“Students have lots of questions about health insurance,” said Sivan Rosenthal, Rutgers Freshman and NJPIRG Campaign Coordinator, “that’s why we’re sharing these tips to help students find good insurance that won’t break the bank.”
At two events launching the project Rutgers New Brunswick and Rutgers Camden, NJPIRG LPC released the new guide, So You Need Health Insurance. Now What? New Jersey Health Insurance 101.
“Many of us are uninsured, or will lose our current coverage pretty soon, but don’t know what to do next,” said Rosenthal. “We’ll lose our family coverage when we turn 26, or we’ll graduate and have to get off the student health plan. We need facts and information so we can make good decisions.”
Beginning January 1, 2014, most Americans will be required to have insurance coverage or pay a fee. On October 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace opened for New Jerseyans looking for health insurance. By visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace website at the www.healthcare.gov, consumers can compare different insurance plans apples to apples, and find out about financial help they may qualify for to help lower their premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
Joining NJPIRG at these events were: Congressman Frank Pallone, Assemblymen Upendra Chivukula and Angel Fuentes, and Dr. Melodee Lasky, Executive Director of Rutgers University Health Services.
“The Affordable Care Act is making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans, but many people still are not fully informed about the new law and how it will impact them,” said Pallone. “I am pleased to work with groups like NJPIRG to help answer questions and make information available to students, so they can make the best decision possible to meet their health care needs. ”
NJPIRG LPC’s top tips for students include:
1. Look into ongoing options such as staying on your parents’ plan until you turn 26, or enrolling in the student health plan.
2. Check out new options at the Health Insurance Marketplace online at healthcare.gov or by phone at 800-318-2596. Plans listed there cover preventive care, hospitalizations, office visits, prescriptions and more.
3. Find out about financial help that’s available when you apply at the Health Insurance Marketplace.
4. Compare plans side-by-side, in plain language at the Health Insurance Marketplace.
5. Don’t let insurance companies turn you away if you have a pre-existing condition.
6. Get expert help comparing insurance plans and signing up online, by phone or in-person. Connect with specially trained people who can help you at the Health Insurance Marketplace.
7. Find out more in the online guide, So, You Need Health Insurance. Now What? New Jersey Health Insurance 101, at http://njpirgcenter.org/resources/njf/so-you-need-health-insurance-now-what.
8. Get involved in the campaign as a volunteer or intern to help get the word out on campus. Find out more at www.njpirgstudents.org.
NJPIRG Law & Policy Center works to protect consumers and promote good government. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer meaningful opportunities for civic participation. Visit us at njpirgcenter.org.
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