TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a law creating a state-based health insurance exchange after the Legislature took passed the bill on Thursday.

The bill has its roots in an executive order issued by Murphy in March to create the exchange instead of allowing New Jersey residents to rely on the federal Marketplace.

Murphy said the action was needed to protect the state against the "sabotage" of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, by Republicans and the Trump administration.

The state exchange will be online in 2021.

Murphy said the exchange will give the state more control over enrollment periods and designing plans that are tailored to New Jersey.

The exchange will be funded by a 3.5% user fee on premiums, which currently goes to the feds. The state estimates that would bring in $50 million a year to pay for marketing and enrollment efforts.

“New Jersey has advanced strong policies to protect access to health care for our residents, access which I believe is a human right," Murphy said Friday. "With this law, we take another step in securing the access families need to gaining more affordable health coverage. Creating our own exchange will allow us to take actions that protect residents in our state, and will ensure we are in the best position in New Jersey to defend against the Trump Administration’s assault on the Affordable Care Act."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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