AmeriHealth New Jersey, in collaboration with the New Jersey Individual Health Coverage Program, has participated in NJ Protect, a new health insurance plan for uninsured New Jersey residents with pre-existing medical conditions.

AmeriHealth said coverage through NJ Protect will generally cost less than comparable individual health insurance for New Jersey residents who meet the plan’s Federally established eligibility requirements.

The NJ Protect plan is an outgrowth of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by US President in March 2010, which created a national, high-risk insurance pool program to provide temporary coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions who have been uninsured for the last six consecutive months.

In addition to being a New Jersey resident, eligibility requirements include having US citizenship being uninsured for at least the last six months and having a chronic, pre-existing medical condition.

AmeriHealth New Jersey vice president, sales and marketing Michael Munoz said NJ Protect offers a lifeline to New Jersey residents who are often challenged to get, and pay for, proper health care.

"Our NJ Protect plan offers comprehensive health care benefits and the freedom to choose providers and hospitals from the AmeriHealth New Jersey network, or from outside that network," Munoz said.

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance Assistant Commissioner, Life and Health Neil Sullivan said with its strong southern New Jersey base, extensive network, and resources, AmeriHealth will extend the reach of NJ Protect and improve availability and accessibility to quality healthcare for State residents who are eligible to enroll in this program.