Washington, DC - Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) welcomed the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which finds that New Jersey consumers will have access tonew and affordable health insurancechoices withlower than expected premiums thanks to the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

"Today we're once again seeing how the Affordable Care Act is benefiting New Jerseyans," said Sen. Menendez. "Thanks to the Marketplace, individuals and families who don't have access to insurance will be able to choose between 29 high-quality, affordable health plans to find one that meets their needs. Individuals and families who for too long have been unable to find insurance - who face the constant fear that an accident or diagnosis could leave them bankrupt and without access to the medical care they need - can feel secure in knowing that the Marketplace will offer them coverage and security. Obamacare is here to stay and it's time for Republicans to face the reality that health reform is bringing increased competition, lower costs and more robust and reliable health insurance options to New Jersey families."

Today's report finds that individuals and families in New Jersey will be able to choose between29 qualified health plans. Plans in the Marketplace will be categorized as either "platinum,""gold," "silver," or "bronze" depending on the level of coverage they offer. Young adults will also have the option of purchasing a "catastrophic" plan, increasing their number of choices. In the new Marketplace, the average premiumfor the lowest-cost silver plan will be $382 and for the lowest cost bronze plan it will be $332. These rates don't account for the tax credits that areavailable to those with a household income below 400 percent of poverty, which in 2013 amounts to $45,960 for individuals and $94,200 for a family of four.

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) underscores the cost benefit for New Jersey families. According to the report, in 2013, a NJ family of four shopping for the lowest premium plan in the marketplace was paying, on average, $1,134 a month. That same family was paying $4,482 for a median pricedplan.

Now, with Obamacare and New Jersey's Health Insurance Marketplace, that same family of four, with an income of $50,000 per year, is expected to pay only $131 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $282 forthe second lowest cost silver planafter factoring in thetax credits. Further, the HHS report shows that a 27-year old living in New Jersey who makes $25,000 per year will pay$103 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan, about the same per month as a cell phone or cable bill.

In less than a week, the new Marketplace will be open for business andNew Jerseyans will be able to shop for and purchase health insurance. Consumers will be able to shop for Marketplace plans online, over the phone, or with in-person assistance tofind out whether they qualify for premium assistance and compare plans side-by-side based on pricing, quality and benefits. No one can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. October 1 marks the beginning of a six-month long open enrollment period that runs through March 2014. Coverage begins as early as January 1.

Consumers can get help finding Marketplace coverage through a number of different resources. They can get more information throughHealthCare.gov, orcuidadodesalud.gov. They can participate in an online web chat, or call 1-800-318-2596 toll free (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to speak with a trained customer service representative with translation services available in 150 languages.

Click here to download the full report.