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NJ Health Insurance Mandate

Market Preservation Act Information

New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act is a continuation of the federal Affordable Care Act provision, requiring every New Jersey resident to obtain health insurance, have a valid exemption, or make a Shared Responsibility Payment (SRP).

By encouraging more residents to purchase health care, New Jersey’s health insurance market will remain stable and provide more affordable rates for coverage.

The law requires you and your family to have minimum essential health coverage (MEC) throughout 2019 or qualify for an exemption of coverage. Failure to have health coverage or qualify for an exemption will result in a SRP when you file your 2019 New Jersey Income Tax return.

You may be exempt for from the SRP if you have a short gap in coverage, if coverage is considered unaffordable, or for several other reasons. Individuals who are not required to file a New Jersey Income Tax return are automatically exempt.

Most basic health coverage satisfies the requirement, including health insurance plans through an employer, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), NJ FamilyCare, or another source that provides MEC. However, certain employer plans that provide only very limited benefits – like vision or dental – do not. If you are not sure, ask your health plan provider. Visit the Healthcare Marketplace at for more qualifying coverage information or for information to help you get covered.

To enroll in health insurance through the Marketplace, you must apply during the open enrollment period beginning November 1, 2018 and ending December 15, 2018. You can enroll after that period only if you have an income or life changing event.

Once you have health insurance, you do not need to do anything else until the next open enrollment period. All you will have to do is indicate on your 2019 New Jersey Resident Return (Form NJ-1040) that you and your dependents have health care and that’s it!

The following types of health coverage satisfy the coverage requirement:

Some products that help pay for medical services don't qualify. If you have only this kind of product, you may have to pay the fee for 2018 plans and earlier.

Examples include:

  • Coverage only for vision care or dental care
  • Workers' compensation
  • Coverage only for a specific disease or condition
  • Plans that offer only discounts on medical services

Last Updated: Tuesday, 10/01/19