N.J. Lawmakers Pushed On Setting Up Health Insurance Exchange

Newsworks — Tuesday, March 13, 2012

By Phil Gregory

The New Jersey for Health Care Coalition is urging the Legislature to approve a measure that would create a health insurance exchange.

The bill establishes a competitive health insurance marketplace that will help ensure choice and value for consumers, says Jeff Brown of New Jersey Citizen Action.

"All of the individuals are in one pool and they can pull together their buying power and act as large company to get better rates," Brown said. "The idea is that, in a small group market, the same thing will happen so that small businesses will have the same buying power as large companies."

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association, which opposes the legislation, maintains there's no incentive for the exchange to operate efficiently and help small businesses struggling with rising insurance premiums.

Ev Liebman with AARP New Jersey, however, says the legislation creates an opportunity to make progress toward a better health-care system.

"It will provide the state with the flexibility that it needs to make the most appropriate market based competitive decisions to serve the best interests of consumers, hundreds of thousands of them over the next ten years, who will be purchasing insurance spending billions of dollars," she said.

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