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(7th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Legislation Assemblyman Herb Conaway, M.D. sponsored to create a New Jersey health benefits exchange to facilitate the purchase of health insurance at affordable prices was recently advanced by an Assembly panel.
The bill (A-1930) would implement a key component of the federal health reform law.
It was released Monday by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee chaired by Conaway (D-Burlington/Camden). Conaway on Friday released the following statement:

“This is a major step forward on the goal of providing quality, affordable health care to every resident of New Jersey.
“The exchange is designed to promote choice and make health insurance purchasing more value-based by allowing an individual or small business to compare the costs and benefits of various health plans and benefit options.
“It will also position New Jersey to help working people and small businesses receive billions of dollars in available federal tax credits. Federal subsidy support to help individuals purchase insurance coverage depends on a functioning exchange.
“We must move expeditiously to create an exchange so that New Jerseyans can get the affordable care they need as soon as possible. With such information, purchasers will be able to do a better job selecting a health plan that is affordable.
“In order to comply with and capitalize on the national healthcare reform law, New Jersey must have a working exchange by January 2014, so it is imperative we move forward now to set proper regulations in place and test the functionality before the 2014 deadline.
“Passing the exchange bill will put New Jersey in position to capitalize on the second round of exchange grants. Federal tax credits along with the exchange will help bring affordability to New Jersey’s health care industry.”