Speed Reads

health care

The ObamaCare individual mandate is gone, so New Jersey just made its own

The GOP tax reform bill ended ObamaCare's individual mandate to purchase health insurance, and on Wednesday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a state-level mandate into law.

Beginning next year, New Jersey residents who don't obtain health-care coverage will be fined 2.5 percent of household income, up to the cost of a bronze-level plan in the state insurance exchange, or up to $2,085 per person, whichever is higher. The state treasurer will determine a "hardship exemption" before the law takes effect.

New Jersey expects to collect about $90 million in fines annually, a figure based on the $93 million state residents paid in fines to escape the federal mandate in 2015. The money collected will go to a new fund created by a second bill Murphy signed Wednesday, which will offset the cost of catastrophic health insurance claims to hold down premiums.

One other state, Massachusetts, also has an individual mandate, but it dates to 2006, before the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act.