The new insurance options for New Jerseyans in the state’s individual and group market are just getting started, and they’re going to have a lot of competition.
The state announced Tuesday it will begin offering individual health insurance to more than 100,000 residents.
The company is offering plans through its BlueCross BlueShield of New Jersey, the state health insurance company.
BlueCross says that is the first time New Jersey residents will be able to purchase coverage in their own state, and it is also the first state to offer such coverage to non-New Jersey residents.
“The new BlueCross plan is the only health insurance option that’s offered in New York State, and that’s a pretty significant announcement,” said Chris O’Connell, a health policy analyst with the advocacy group Families USA.
“We’ve been looking for a way to get more New Yorkers covered.”
Health insurance plans in the individual and family market in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine are set to open later this year.
Blue Cross BlueShield plans will open in New Mexico and Nevada next year.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, announced his plans for the individual market last month, and he has already offered health insurance for all New Jersey adults.
A spokeswoman for the governor said Tuesday that he plans to open more than 3 million New Jerseyan’s insurance options.
New Jersey has more than 12 million residents, and many have struggled to find insurance coverage.
A number of other states have also been considering similar changes.
Health insurers in New England, including BlueCross, are not the only ones looking to expand their individual market.
A recent report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that more than a million people nationwide had trouble signing up for coverage.
The group’s study found that in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, more than 4.1 million Americans were uninsured, and nearly a third of those lacked coverage.
In 2016, the average age of Americans without insurance was 34, up from 25 in 2015.
Blue Cross plans will not offer plans through the state of Massachusetts, which has one of the largest individual market populations in the country.