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Dear Editor:

As a representative of the state’s health insurance brokers, I want to voice my strong opposition against a Senate bill that calls for a 2.75% state tax on fully-insured health insurance premiums for health benefits plans, MEWAs and dental and vision coverage in New Jersey.

The bill, (S.2676), would add yet another tax on the average New Jersey citizens. Now, during this unprecedented public health emergency and deep economic disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this proposal is unconscionable and unacceptable.

New Jerseyans deserve affordable and more accessible health insurance, not another barrier to care for their employees and families. The New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters, of which I am a member, respectfully urges our state legislators to oppose such a harmful bill that would affect millions of people.

Some lawmakers contend this bill would somehow make health insurance cheaper for all. Yet in all my years as a health insurance broker in this state, I have never seen how taxing an insurance product magically makes it cheaper. This bill is just another way in which the cost of doing business in New Jersey gets more and more unsustainable, while we see our health coverage become less affordable for both employers and their employees across our state. 

State lawmakers need to help, not further compound the financial hardships so many of us are already facing.

 

Desmond X. Slattery

Spring Lake

Legislative Chairman

NJAHU