Measure a Part of a Comprehensive 12-Bill Legislative Package Introduced in the Assembly
(TRENTON) – Legislation (A-5500) sponsored by Assembly Democrats Lou Greenwald, Yvonne Lopez and Pam Lampitt to establish a rate increase review process in the Department of Banking and Insurance for individual and small employer health benefits plans under the newly proposed state-based health exchange was approved by the full Assembly on Thursday, 58-20-0.
Currently, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), New Jersey is required to maintain a process to review health insurance rate increases according to certain criteria that identifies “unreasonable” rate increases and requires health insurance carriers to provide justifications for them. This legislation makes those federal requirements a part of New Jersey statutory law, so that consumers in the State will have those protections in the event that the ACA is repealed or modified.
“The affordable care act has helped tens of thousands of New Jersey residents gain access to healthcare for themselves and their families,” said Greenwald (D-Camden, Burlington). “With this legislation, we are keeping healthcare affordable for working families by preventing unreasonable rate hikes for the insured, preserving the substantial progress we’ve made on increasing access to quality healthcare in New Jersey.”
“The Affordable Care Act has changed the lives of many New Jersey families,” said Assemblywoman Lopez (D-Middlesex). “Protecting families against unjustified rate changes is critical to maintaining and expanding access to healthcare in the state for many more residents.”
“This is the next practical step in protecting thousands of New Jerseyans who have been afforded healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act,” said Assemblywoman Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington). “The key is to ensure health insurance remains affordable for all residents by keeping an eye on and preventing unnecessary rate increases.”
The bill will now go to the Senate for further consideration.