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Singleton Introduces Bill to Bar Insurers from Serving as Medicaid Providers if they Pull Out of Individual & Small Group Markets

Assemblyman Troy Singleton has introduced legislation that would bar insurance carriers that withdraw from New Jersey’s individual or small employer health insurance markets from acting as Medicaid program carriers in the state.

Singleton’s legislation was prompted by reports that Aetna is planning to withdraw from New Jersey’s individual and small-group health insurance markets and could prompt one of the largest single disruptions to the market in years, forcing tens of thousands of New Jersey residents to find a new insurer next year.

“The reasoning behind this is simple. If you’re an insurance carrier and you’re not going to be there for the taxpayers of this state, then you shouldn’t be allowed to profit off of taxpayer funding,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “With the future of the Affordable Care Act threatening to destabilize the insurance market, it’s naturally created a lot of anxiety for folks who rely on individual health plans. The people of this state need carriers they can count on, not those who are just looking to take advantage of Medicaid subsidies.”

Specifically, the bill (A-5070) stipulates that a carrier that withdraws from offering individual health benefit plans in the New Jersey Individual Health Coverage Program, or withdraws from offering small employer health benefits plans in the New Jersey Small Employer Health Benefits Program, shall be ineligible to enter into a contract with the Department of Human Services to provide health benefits for eligible persons under the Medicaid program or the NJ FamilyCare program.

The legislation was officially introduced yesterday.