New Law Expands Medicaid Coverage of Family Planning Services
(TRENTON) – Legislation, sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eliana Pintor Marin, Joseph Lagana, Mila Jasey, Raj Mukherji and Joann Downey, to expand Medicaid coverage of family planning services was signed into law on Wednesday at a special signing ceremony held at the War Memorial in Trenton.
The new law, formerly bill (A-1656), would expand Medicaid coverage of family planning services to non-pregnant individuals whose income does not exceed the highest income eligibility level established for pregnant women under current state plan, which is currently 200 percent of the federal poverty level in New Jersey.
“Not only is this funding a compassionate move, it’s a financially prudent one, as well,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “We can’t leave this money sitting on the table when women’s health centers throughout the state have been forced to close or turn patients away. With the federal government covering 90 percent of the cost, this is an investment well worth making on behalf of struggling women and families across New Jersey.”
“The fiscal priorities we choose show our character as a state,” said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This supplemental funding is critically important to cash-strapped states and the women and families who depend on it and we should be taking advantage of every available federal resource at our disposal.”
“One of the fundamental duties we have been elected to perform is to maximize available resources to provide basic essential services to the residents of this state,” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). “Nothing is more essential than access to quality healthcare.”
“This is a wise and financially sound move. We can’t leave this money sitting on the table when family planning centers throughout the state have been forced to close, scale back their services or turn patients away, hitting residents in urban areas particularly hard,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson).
“Expanded healthcare coverage means healthier women and stronger families,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “Today, we not only rightfully restore funding but, with this new law, we’re able to cover more women and expand healthcare access to include those who truly need it.”
The new law would exercise a state option provided under the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” which permits states to expand family planning services through a state plan amendment. In doing so, the federal government would pay 90 percent of the costs for these services.
The bill (A-1656) was approved by the General Assembly on February 20, (52-20); and the Senate on February 1, (35-5).