The health insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act have the potential to impact the estimated 1.1 million New Jerseyans who were without coverage prior to that portion of the ACA taking effect this year.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 12.7 percent of the state’s residents were uninsured in 2012. That’s somewhat better than the national average of about 15 percent with no insurance. About 102,000 of those in New Jersey without coverage were children, the data shows.
Not surprisingly, the highest rates of the uninsured in New Jersey were in the state’s more urban areas: 21 percent in Hudson County, 19 percent in Passaic and 17 percent in Essex. Similarly, the state’s wealthiest county, Hunterdon, had the lowest percentage of residents uninsured – about 6 percent.
Likewise, the Census Bureau estimates that fewer than 50 people lack insurance in some of the state’s wealthier communities, including Mantoloking, Essex Fells and Rockleigh. One-third of residents or more had no insurance in five communities, including the small cities of Union City and West New York, and the older suburbs of Fairview, East Newark and Palisades Park. Because the municipal data is for smaller populations, it has been averaged over a five -year period – 2008-2012 -- so as to be more accurate.