Senator Joe Vitale, Chair of the Senate Health Committee, joined Friday with New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) and members of the NJ for Health Care coalition in the State House to unveil a roadmap to achieve universal health coverage for all of New Jersey’s children. We all should join in this crusade.
New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) just released a report It’s Time for All Kids Health Coverage. Let’s make it happen. Ray Castro, Director of Health policy, says, “The best investment a state can make is in its children, yet New Jersey is falling short…”
NJPP OUTLINES THE PROBLEM
- In total there are 78,000 NJ kids without health insurance. (See chart below.)
- The majority are people of color.
- Kids living poverty are most likely to be uninsured.
- Unauthorized immigrant children are ineligible for NJFC.
- Child enrollment in NJ FamilyCare is declining.
The good news is that most uninsured children are eligible for NJ FamilyCare or marketplace subsidies.
… AND THE SOLUTIONS
- Permanently funding and better targeting outreach efforts, including partnering with community groups and faith-based organizations.
- Removing administrative barriers that prevent eligible children from enrolling, such as the 90-day waiting period.
- Eliminating premiums in CHIP, consistent with Medicaid and the practices of 22 other states.
- Reinstating the buy-in program for middle-class families.
- Removing eligibility requirements for NJ Family Care so all children can be covered, regardless of immigration status.
NJPP estimates the $19 million total annual cost for all these recommendations ($9.5 million in SFY 2020 assuming a January 2020 start date) is statistically insignificant compared to a $15 billion budget for NJFC.