Real people. Real choices.
 Site managed by Tony Novak  800-609-0683     Support options    Site map  
Need help with health care choices in New Jersey?
We can help with free professional email and telephone support.

Accident | Short Term | Critical Illness | Dental | Disability Income | Emergency | FB University | Group | Guaranteed Issue | HRA | HSA | High deductible | Immigrant | Individual | International | Life | Major Medical | Medigap | Mini-med | OnlineNavigator | Pre-existing Condition | PPO | Prescription | Small Business | Supplemental | Supplemental | Temporary | Telemedicine | Travel
low cost health insurance
OnlineNavigator insurance enrollment supportNeed help?

We make it easy to get friendly, personal and help with health care reform questions through two fast support options:

Email support:
Email support is available 24/7 usually with same day response. Address your message to

Telephone support:
Schedule telephone support with a call back at your convenience.

OnlineNavigator support is an independent service offered by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA MT subject to the adviser's schedule availability. This support is not intended to replace the services offered and available through other channels by your insurance company, insurance agents and health insurance navigators. Specifically, this service does not replace  online pricing and enrollment functions, billing, claims or administrative services and does not assist with Medicare or Medicaid plans.

See the OnlineNavigator web site for details on privacy policy and terms of service. 

Covering the Gaps in Obamacare

Health plans and resources for diabetics - a listing of the health plan options and other resources
Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.

Most Affordable Supplemental Coverage

Value 24 Hour Accident - up to $10,000 of supplemental health insurance coverage for emergency treatment of injuries at a cost of about $2 per day. Can be used as a stand-alone coverage or added to other insurance.

Primary Individual Major Medical Through a Private Exchange

Members Health Insurance Exchange allows you to price and choose from among many of the nations leading major medical health insurance options from a wide range of carriers. Personal help is available through OnlineNavigator to help with your selection.

Dental and Vision Insurance

Core Dental Insurance - preventive, basic, and major dental expenses with the dentist of your choice. Shortest waiting period.
Secure DentalOne - one lifetime deductible of $100 and then up to $1,250 per year coverage

Online Life Insurance

International Term Life - up to $2 million coverage issued by Lloyds online specifically for those who spend time outside of the US

New Jersey health insurance news

by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT   last updated: February 26, 2017

The two top priorities among individuals and small business who pay for their own health coverage is to find more affordable primary insurance and cover rapidly rising out-of-pocket medical costs that are not paid by primary health insurance.

Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, New Jersey residents faced a difficult task finding affordable health insurance due to state laws passed in the 1990s. Individual major medical insurance was not considered an attractive or viable option for most of the state's residents. Eight commercial health insurance companies offered guaranteed-issue individual coverage according to designs mandated by the state. Insurance companies had no option to offer lower-priced coverage with lower levels of benefits so this caused the state's uninsured rate among middle income population to rise for several decades. 

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, individuals and small businesses (with less than 50 employees) in New Jersey can now purchase health insurance through the federal heath insurance clearinghouse or through a number of privately operated insurance exchanges. The state government is likely to expand its own insurance exchange system in cooperation with either the federal or private systems within the next few years.

Non-insurance options, like Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can be added as effective cost-control tools; ask your adviser for more information.

This Web page lists low cost supplemental commercial health insurance plans and related benefits. Freedom Benefits offers personal assistance by email with any insurance exchange or health reform issue through

About 250,000 New Jersey residents have purchased insurance through the exchange. This is less than was predicted in earlier forecasts. About 940,000 New jersey residents remain uninsured, including about 150,000 who would qualify for full or partial premium subsidies.

In-person enrollers can be found at Covered health benefits under insurance purchased through the exchange in 2016 will be different than those offered though any 2015 health plans. The insurance plan that sets the benchmark for qualified coverage through the exchange is listed here and a list of state-mandated benefits can be found here.

low cost health insurance

New Jersey insurance and benefit pricing

New Jersey had the 16th highest health insurance costs of all states in 2008 with an average family premium of $12,789 per year. (The average annual premium for a U.S. family covered under an employer-sponsored health plan in 2008 was $12,298 according to The Commonwealth Fund report. The overall quality of health care ranked 30th out of the 51 states (including DC).
The state ranked #13 in physical wellbeing (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily) according to a 2015 Gallup Healthways survey.
New Jersey regulates the benefits required for both individual major medical and group health insurance plans, known as "mandated benefits".

Short Term Insurance

Short term medical insurance is not available for purchase within the State of New Jersey but policies  purchased elsewhere are valid within New Jersey.

Immigrant Insurance

Inbound Immigrant - up to five years of liberal health insurance coverage after immigration including maternity coverage, emergency and other essential benefits

Supplemental Accident Insurance

Consumers Direct Accident Medical - Protection UpgradeSM supplemental coverage for as little as $20 per month.
Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.
Value 24 Hour Accident - up to $10,000 of supplemental health insurance coverage for emergency treatment of injuries at a cost of about $2 per day. Can be used as a stand-alone coverage or added to other insurance.

low cost health insurance

New Jersey insurance law and regulation

The New Jersey Department of Insurance Web site contains a link to the Regulatory and Legal Affairs Web page.  The state's Web site also publishes information to help individuals find individual health insurance, including the current rates of all available major medical insurance and HMO plans. The site does not list commercial low cost health plans like mini-med or core coverage, specific illness policies, Supplemental Accident Insurance and basic health insurance.
The state insurance department can be reached by telephone at (609) 292-7272 or by mail at P.O. Box 471, Trenton, NJ 08625. The state children's health insurance plan (CHIP) Web site is New Jersey FamilyCare.

Small business plans

Freedom Benefits offers professional help with setup of self-administered Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Premium Reimbursement Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and insurance at a low price than any small business can afford.

Non-insurance Discount Plans

Careington PPO Discount Plans - the nation's leading network PPO discount provider allows a no-risk trial of any discount plan for only a $20 processing fee
Drug Card America - a free prescription drug card that an be used nationwide
Essential Dental Solutions - simple, inexpensive, no waiting period, up to $500 treatment per year
Rx Pay Card - $10, $20, or $30 payments for hundreds of popular prescriptions.


CallMD - Doctors and nurses literally on call 24/7 to answer questions, help with medical screening and write prescriptions saving you money with the most common types of medical care. $20 per month covers everyone in the household.

International Coverage and Travel Insurance

New Jersey Insurance News

2/26/2017 Protests continued throughout the state over the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. For those who are eager to leave the plan, alternatives to Obamacare are now avalailable.

1/1/2015 Enrollments are off to a slow start at for 2015. Yesterday the federal government released surprising year-end results of saying that so far only 105,000 New Jersey residents signed up for health insurance coverage for 2015 compared to 160,000 last year. We might have expected the number to increase this year especially since most of those enrolling for coverage on the exchange have their premium fully or partially paid through government subsidies. There are more plan choices available for 2015 and the rate increases have been modest. Additionally, the 2015 tax penalty for not having health insurance coverage rose sharply, now approaching 2% of gross income, so we might have expected this larger penalty to motivate more uninsured residents to enroll. It is possible that the decline is due to reduced advertising budget of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace this year compared to 2013-2014. The report confirms that the majority of those signing up this year were simply re-enrolling from last year. It is unclear whether the decline in online enrollment is partly due to some individuals whose plans might have automatically enrolled from 2014 to 2015. It is also possible that the federal report does not reflect the results of the state's rapid recent expansion of Medicaid enrollments.

Individuals have until February 15 to enroll and avoid the 2015 tax penalty. New Jersey apparently still has about a million people without health insurance (There may be other issues complicating accurate reporting of the actual number of uninsured). While the number of uninsured has fluctuated over the past decade, especially in reaction to the various stages in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there is no clear indication the issue will be resolved by continuing on our present course.

12/27/2014 Summary of New Jersey health insurance issues for 2014:

2/11/2014 Professional support for any health care reform issue is available free of charge through an arrangement with OnlineNavigator. All online inquiries are handled personally by Tony Novak, CPA. Online support is available through a number of popular social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as e-mail. Telephone support for insurance enrollment is available through Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683.

1/13/2014 About 900,000 uninsured New Jersey residents are eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. About 1/3 of these are eligible for government-paid Medicaid. So far, only about 90,000 have enrolled for coverage and even fewer have actually selected and paid for a plan. Medicaid in-person enrollers can be found at  For those who must pay for their own coverage, many find the average premium of about $150 per person per month to be unaffordable. Out-of-pocket cost plus high policy deductibles commonly raise the total cost of health care above 15% of household income for NJ families.

7/26/2013 Affordable Smart Term Life Insurance is now available to most New Jersey residents from age 20 through 60 directly online with no physical exam, agent appointment or telephone verification. Most policies are issued on the same day with coverage amounts of $25,000 up to $350,000. The level premium life insurance is available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Sample rates for $150,000 coverage for a preferred risk male age 30, non-tobacco $30.85 per month; tobacco user $49.55 per month. A preferred risk female age 30 non-tobacco user would be $26.49 per month and a tobacco user would be $40.96 per month. Rates are higher for older applicants and lower health risks as described online. Pricing is based on input you provide about your medical history but, unlike most other life insurers, does not consider family medical history. Coverage is issued by innovative National Life Group, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company for 2013.

3/11/2013 This page was updated to include a link to the insurance plan that will be used to determine specific "essential health benefits" for insurance that qualified for 2014 federal tax purposes. Also, a link to additional covered benefits required by state law. Non-qualified insurance is likely to continue to be available at a lower cost that does not include these benefits nor qualify for federal tax purposes.

10/4/2012 The New Jersey Senate Democrats passed a new health insurance exchange bill without any support from Republicans. Governor Christie preciously vetoed an exchange bill earlier this year. If the legislation is not passed by November 16 then New Jersey's insurance exchange bill be managed by the federal government. In that case, the state would forfeit federal funds to develop the exchange and would lose some power to regulate insurance available within the state. The bill provides for the establishment of an exchange that would be governed by a board of 8 members, including 5 members of the public. The board would elect an advisory committee that could include representatives of insurance companies and other stakeholders.

7/19/2012 AmeriHealth NJ announced an innovative voluntary cost control program that enables members to play an active role in selecting where they can receive high-quality and cost-effective advanced diagnostic imaging services when they are needed. The goal of the outreach program is to bridge that price gap by providing members with information that will help them make informed decisions about the health care they receive. Prices can vary by as much 683% more for the same medical procedures, such as MRIs or CT scans, in the same town, depending on the site the medical procedure is performed according to the National Healthcare Group.

2/8/2012 New Jersey took a step forward in the process to establish its own health insurance exchange as Assembly Bill A2171 was voted out of the Health and Senior Services Committee headed by Dr. Herb Canaway, a Democrat from Burlington County. The health insurance exchange will be an online marketplace where individuals and small businesses in New Jersey can buy health insurance starting in 2014. Freedom Benefits noted that the bill provides only makes brief mention of the navigator program that may be the function served by our organization.

2/1/2012 The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a division of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of June 30, 2011 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Oxford Health Plan and Aetna are the state's largest health insurance providers and as such, earn the right to set the benchmark for the development of the state's essential benefit plans to debut in 2014 under health reform law.

1/19/2012 With just under two year remaining until final individual health insurance reform laws take effect, New Jersey is one of only five states that does not have a short term medical insurance plan available to bridge the gap until affordable basic health insurance becomes available to everyone. Short term medical insurance is popular basic coverage because it is exempt from the restrictions of health reform law and therefore priced less than half of the rate of a plan that includes all state and federally mandated coverage. The lack of short term coverage in the state has boosted medical insurance tourism among those who need immediate coverage for 2012. A policy purchased while residing outside the state provides valid coverage nationwide including within New Jersey.

7/8/2011 A report by Rutgers Center for Center for State Health Policy said that 70% of New Jersey's adult residents not born in the U.S. lacked health insurance despite coverage available under a variety of Medicaid and commercial programs like Inbound Immigrant insurance.

3/9/2011 New Jersey health insurance exchange plans are beginning to take shape at a high level meeting between a number of independent state agencies. Legislative concern focuses on the expected growth of the number of people on Medicaid along with the 2013 mandate to increase primary care provider reimbursement to the same level as Medicare. Currently the state only pays primary care providers 34% of Medicare rates. The additional cost is not considered in state budgeting.

12/16/2010 New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance officials met representatives of 44 other states and numerous employees of the federal Health and Human Services Department in Washington DC this week for a two-day working meeting to discuss the next steps in establish a government-run health insurance exchange under the American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act. Their attendance at this meeting was paid for by a $1 million federal grant awarded by HHS in September to the state for research how to set up an insurance exchange. Two states (Alaska and Minnesota) declined to participate, saying that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Four other states (not identified in press reports) that received federal grants did not send representatives to the meeting. Attendees included representatives of 16 states that are suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the federal health reform law; specifically the requirement that forces individuals to buy health insurance on the insurance exchange or pay a hefty tax fine.

In its initial federal grant request for the insurance exchange project, New Jersey said that it would: 1) Research the number, demographic and health characteristics of New Jersey residents who will be eligible and likely to enroll in Medicaid or FamilyCare and subsidized and unsubsidized Exchange products (through individual and small employer Exchange(s)) in New Jersey, 2) Conduct forums and on-line surveys to obtain stakeholder input into the design of Exchange(s) in New Jersey, and 3) Engage experts in benefit design, building provider capacity to accommodate the anticipated enrollment, transitioning existing Medicaid clients into the Exchange, coordinating with social services programs, and reviewing alternative delivery models.

The meeting reportedly did not address the role of the commercial health insurance exchanges on the implementation of new competing government systems. The model act does not address inter-state insurance exchange proposals nor insurance sales across state lines. Federal officials admitted that they may not be able to provide further guidance until 2012. Meanwhile, most states are motivated to continue to meet requirements to obtain additional funding promised by the federal government for the establishment of insurance exchange by 2014. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the huge amount of money being spent to set up alternate insurance sales system technologies could be better used providing health benefits to the public. We proposed on the Universal Health Insurance blog that adequate commercial insurance sales systems are already in place that could be modified in a public/private partnership to make health insurance more affordable.

5/14/2010 Diabetes Coverage: A new resource to help find health insurance for diabetics in New Jersey is now available at Freedom Benefits.

3/23/2010 The state's proposed 2011 budget calls for drastic cuts in FamilyCare, the state health program for low income residents.

Mission Statement| Editorial Policy| Privacy Policy| About Freedom Benefits| News| Investors

This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.