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McKeon, Conaway and Mukherji Bill Ensuring Healthcare Coverage for Preventive Care Services Clears Assembly

(TRENTON) – Ensuring healthcare coverage for preventive care and screenings under the State-based health exchange, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon (D-Essex), Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) and Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) cleared the full Assembly, 73-1, on Thursday.

The sponsors issued the following statement on its passage:

“Preventive healthcare is critical to helping individuals’ live longer, healthier lives. In the long run, preventive medicine and services helps families’ keep healthcare costs down and avoid potential health problems. These are services every resident relies on for themselves and their children.

“The Affordable Care Act ensured more residents’ access to preventive care than before. Setting these same standards under the State-based healthcare exchange will continue to protect New Jersey families’ and their access to these critical services.”

The bill (A-5507) would require health insurers (health, hospital and medical service corporations, commercial individual and group health insurers; health maintenance organizations, health benefits plans issued pursuant to the New Jersey Individual Health Coverage and Small Employer Health Benefits Programs, the State Health Benefits Program, and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program) to provide coverage, without requiring any cost sharing, for expenses incurred in the provision of the following preventive services: (1) evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of “A” or “B” in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force; (2) immunizations that have in effect a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;  (3) with respect to infants, children, and adolescents, evidence-informed preventive care and screenings provided for in the comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration; and (4) with respect to women, any additional preventive care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided for in the comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

This bill would take effect on the 90th day next following enactment and would apply to policies or contracts issued or renewed on or after the effective date.