In an effort to encourage and make it easier for more residents to enroll in NJ FamilyCare, Senator Joe Vitale and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez have sponsored a bill to expand eligibility, eliminate premiums and enhance outreach efforts for the program.
NJ FamilyCare is New Jersey’s publicly funded health insurance program that helps residents of all ages access affordable health insurance if they do not have coverage through their employer.
Under the bill (A-5805/S-3798), enrollees would not have to pay premiums as a condition of their participation in the program, except in the case of enrollees who exceed income limits but choose to enroll their children in the Advantage program.
The measure would also eliminate waiting periods for any eligible person who applies for NJ FamilyCare coverage. The bill stipulates that no eligible child who applies for coverage can be denied immediate enrollment for any reason.
Existing outreach initiatives to increase public awareness about the availability and benefits of enrolling in NJ FamilyCare would also be enhanced via increased funding as well as improved coordination and participation in those efforts. Regular reporting to the Legislature and Governor, as mandated by the legislation, would inform them of the State’s progress in making quality, affordable healthcare coverage available to all New Jersey children.
Upon the measure passing the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Thursday after recently passing the Assembly Health Committee, Senator Vitale and Assemblywoman Lopez (both D-Middlesex) issued the following joint statement:
“Without health insurance coverage, it can be difficult to receive proper medical care – and we have seen just how important access to health care is over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must keep working towards our goal of providing New Jersey families with quality, affordable health insurance if we want as many residents as possible to receive the care they both need and deserve. Eliminating wait times and premiums while further promoting this important program will help us achieve this goal.”