When President Trump signed the federal tax bill into law in late December 2017, he also repealed one of the most unpopular provisions of the Affordable Care Act: the individual health insurance mandate. An advancing New Jersey bill, however, would reestablish this mandate for the state.
Under the mandate, New Jersey taxpayers would have to acquire health insurance or pay the penalty—either 2.5 percent of their household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, whichever is greater—to the state instead of the federal government. In 2015, roughly 189,000 New Jerseyans paid the penalty.
Supporters say this will help stabilize health insurance premiums because repealing it causes healthy people to skip buying insurance, thereby driving up premium rates. New Jersey is one of several states, including Maryland and California, that are looking to bring back the mandate.
The companion bills were introduced by State Sen. Joseph Vitale and Assemblyman John McKeon, and on the Senate side, the measure was approved by the Commerce Committee.