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Last Updated: Aug 9, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Affordable Care Act Print Page

Enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace

Open enrollment  ends March 31, 2014.; enroll by March 31, 2014 to avoid penalty. 

Please note that the Obama administration announced March 26 2014 that it would allow more time for *some *people who had tried to apply but were blocked by technical problems. It will be decided on a *case-by-case basis.* That means individuals can go to the website and start the application process. They will be guided from there.

Most people must have health coverage in 2014 or pay a penalty. If you don’t have coverage, you’ll pay a penalty of either 1% of your income, or $95 per adult ($47.50 per child), whichever is higher. You'll pay the penalty on your 2015 income taxes.

You can apply for health coverage in the Marketplace 4 ways:  New Jesey did not create a state specific insurance marketplace, so NJ residents will use this federal site to select and enroll in a health insurance plan.  Please note that  since 36 states  are sending their residents to this federal marketplace,  there may be delays depending on the amount of traffic to the site.  

Help Center:  To apply by phone, call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). A customer service representative will work with you to complete the application and enrollment process.  To get a paper application, download the application form and instructions; call the number above for help with the application.

Recent Changes to the website:

  • A new "Hardship Exemtion" was created for individuals with true hardships (e. g. homlessness, being evicted or having shut-off of utilities) so that these people do not have to pay a penalty for not having health insurance.  Please refer to
  • A new ""window-shopping" feature that lets prospective customers see health plans and prices in their area, including previously unavailable details such as deductibles and cost-sharing, as well as provider networks.
  • A new "Reset" button allows people who were previously stuck in the system to do away with their old application and start over. To do that, you log into your account, select the application in progress and hit "remove." ; then close  and reopen your web browser, and log back in to start a new application. 
  • To help relieve problems during periods of high user volume, the website now offers a queuing system.  Consumers can request email notifications of when is a good time to come back.

Marketplace Application Checklist

When you apply for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace, you’ll need to provide some information about yourself . Use the checklist below to help you gather information you need to apply.  Open enrollment begins October 1, 2013 for coverage starting as early as January 1, 2014; ends March 31, 2014.

  • Social Security Numbers (or document numbers for legal immigrants)
  • Employer and income information for each member of your household needing coverage
  • Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household
  • A completed Employer Coverage Tool for every job-based plan you or someone in your household is eligible for.  

Affordable Care Act: Public Laws and Bill Summaries

The bill summaries below are starting places, but do not contain the complete legislative history of the law.  


Health Care Reform--NYT

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Affordable Care Act Key Features

The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 23, 2010.  On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court rendered a final decision to uphold the health care law.


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Health Insurance Marketplace

New Jersey has chosen to use the federal health insurance exchange, named the Health Insurance Marketplace, for health insurance rather than implementing a state-based exchange. The federal exchange is located at For Spanish speaking consumers, is also available.

Trusted Websites

  • From Coverage to Care
    From Coverage to Care is an initiative to help people with new health care coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them, so they can live a long and healthy life. Please refer to the publication "A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You", at
  • Affordable Care Act in New Jersey
    The Affordable Care Act will change how health care is delivered in NJ:
    - More people will have Medicaid coverage
    - Insurance through the Health Insurance Exchange
    - Elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions
    - Extended coverage for dependents--children will be allowed to stay on parents private insurance until age 26.
    - Preventive care services expanded--health plans will have to cover recommended preventive services, such as colonoscopys and mammograms
    - Closing of the “Donut Hole”--Medicare Part D’s Prescription Drug Gap will close.
    - Elimination of annual and life time limits--insurance companies can no longer cap coverage at a certain cost per year or over your lifetime.
  • AARP Fact Sheets
    Get the facts about the Affordable Care Act with these educational fact sheets from AARP's Education & Outreach department. Many of these resources are also available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog.
  • US Department of Health and Human Services
    The Affordable Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their health care. This site shows Key Features of the Affordable Care Act, as well as a year-by-year overview of features.
  • Health Insurance topic from MedlinePlus
    MedlinePlus is a vital resource for quality health information of all kinds, including health insurance and the Affordable Care Act. Visit the newly enhanced Health Insurance Health Topic page for links to essential information for library patrons and consumers.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation Flowchart to Determine What You Need
    Visualizing Health Policy: Health Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
    The December 2012 Visualizing Health Policy infographic is a flowchart illustrating the mechanisms by which people will get health coverage beginning in 2014.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation: The Requirement to Buy Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act
    Along with changes to the health insurance system that guarantee access to coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing health conditions, the Affordable Care Act includes a requirement that many people be insured or pay a penalty. This simple flowchart illustrates how that requirement (sometimes known as an “individual mandate”) works.
  • Immigrants and the Affordable Care Act
    Explains the benefits and requirements of the ACA by status for the following groups:
    - Naturalized Citizens
    - Lawfully Present Immigrants
    - Undocumented Immigrants

Find Local Help--Get Personal Help Applying for Health Coveragee

The following locations have certified application counselors.

  • South Jersey Family Medical Centers, Address:  1301 Atlantic Ave, Atlantic City, NJ, 08401, Call 609-572-0000; Website:
  • Atlanticare (Healthplex) has application counselors, in Spanish also; Address;
    Atlanticare (Healthplex) has application counselors, in Spanish also.  Address:  1401 Atlantic Ave, Atlantic City, NJ, 08401:  Call 888-569-1000
  • Center for Family Services; Call 877-922-2377 


Affordable Care Act FAQS

If you have questions, call  24/7 1-800-318-2596  or Chat Online at

Please also see

What is the Affordable Healthcare Act?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or commonly referred to as Obamacare was passed in March 2010, with the goal of increasing healthcare coverage to more Americans. Read the full text of the law.

When can I apply?

Can apply starting OCTOBER 1, 2013. Coverage will be effective JANUARY 1, 2014. Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014.

Who can apply?

    You must live in the United States.

     You must be a U.S. Citizen or National (or lawfully present) See more information about Immigration status

     You cannot be currently incarcerated

How do I apply?

Starting October 1st you can apply online at, or by calling 1-800-318-2596. 

How do I create a username and password?

In October, you can create an online account. 

Steps to create an online profile:

        Go to

        At the top of the page, click the “Get Insurance” tab.

        Select your state to learn about enrollment and coverage.

What do I need to apply?

        Social Security Numbers (or document numbers for legal immigrants)

        Employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage. (Pay stubs, or W-2 forms)

        Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household.

        Completed Employer Coverage Tool for every job-based plan you or someone in your household is eligible for.

Where can I go if I have more questions?

Starting in October, local help will be available to assist in filling out applications and helping them through the process. Locate local help

For more information, call 1-800-318-2596 or visit

Where can I go to file a complaint about insurance in New Jersey?

You can visit the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance at: or call the department at: 609-292-7272.  



Books Not to Miss

Cover Art
A new era in U.S. health care : critical next steps under the Affordable Care Act - Stephen Davidson
A New Era in U.S. Health Care demystifies the Affordable Care Act for unfamiliar readers, setting an agenda for lawmakers and the health industry alike. It focuses on four key issues that will determine the success of this 2010 legislation: the use of state-run Medicaid programs to expand access to insurance; the implementation process; the creation of health insurance exchanges; and the introduction of a new organizational form, accountable care organizations.

Cover Art
Beating Obamacare: your handbook for surviving the new health care law - Betsy McCaughey
Beating Obamacare is the straightforward, practical guide to navigating Obamacare that every individual and family needs. This guide will tell you exactly what to expect, what’s changing, and how much it will cost you and your family.

Cover Art
Obamacare survival guide - Nick J. Tate
The ObamaCare Survival Guide, written in plain, easy-to-read language, makes the law simple to understand and gives you the tools to navigate ObamaCare.

Cover Art
Reinventing American Health Care - Ezekiel Emanuel
Publication Date: 2014-03-04
"Health care is the largest employer in America, one of the largest perceived drains on the budget of the Federal government. Yet the system is widely misunderstood, and is a confusing maze to most of us who feel crushed by its complexities quite as much as we feel served by its doctors and nurses. Reinventing American Health Care explains why the American health care system is the way it is, and the five problems that confront any attempt at reform. Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Truman, Kennedy and Nixon all came to power promising universal coverage, and all failed. Emanuel explains how this happened by way of showing how extraordinary the passage of the Affordable Care Act was: it completely bucked the trend, in the face of some very tough political circumstances. With his unique insider's view, Emanuel explains why the Affordable Care Act took the shape it did, and in particular examines the political role of the American Medical Association. He then projects how the ACA will affect health care.

Information for Small Business

  • Health Care Changes for Small Businesses
    Small Businesses can use this new, streamlined health care tool -- at -- to help find out exactly what they need to know about the Affordable Care Act. In a few quick steps, the streamlined tool can help business owners understand what they need to know about new insurance options and other health care changes as well as find health care-related resources relevant to business.
  • Information for Small Businesses
    Get health insurance for your employees
    The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is a new way to buy high-quality health insurance for your employees. It opens for business October 1, 2013.

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