STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION
Assemblywoman SHAVONDA E. SUMTER
District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblyman JOSEPH CRYAN
District 20 (Union)
Urges Governor to use federal grant allocated for “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” outreach.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel
An Assembly Resolution urging the Governor to use the federal grant allocated to New Jersey for “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” outreach.
Whereas, The United States Department of Health and Human Services authorized a $7.67 million grant to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance in February 2012 pursuant to Section 1311 of the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Pub.L.111-148, as amended by the federal “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010,” Pub.L.111-152, (ACA) to support establishment of a health insurance marketplace; and
Whereas, The Section 1311 grant program is designed to help states fund certain activities related to research, planning, information technology development, marketing, and consumer outreach for their health insurance marketplaces; and
Whereas, The Department of Banking and Insurance has utilized only $3,400 of the $7.67 million authorized, and amounts not spent will be recaptured by the federal government in February 2014; and
Whereas, A recent poll indicates that New Jerseyans are generally, less aware than other Americans of the provisions of the ACA, particularly the mandate that individuals purchase an affordable health insurance plan by 2014 or be subject to a fine, and the lack of a coordinated Statewide public information campaign is thought to be a reason for this lack of awareness; and
Whereas, An estimated 900,000 New Jerseyans are uninsured and eligible for health insurance coverage through the new health insurance marketplace, and 88 percent of those may qualify for a plan that costs less than their current coverage; and
Whereas, Since the ACA has taken effect, Medicare recipients in New Jersey saved nearly $370 million on prescription medications, and over 880,000 New Jerseyans with traditional Medicare coverage utilized one or more free preventive services in 2012; and
Whereas, Many other residents of New Jersey do or will benefit from other changes brought about by the ACA, including coverage for roughly 73,000 young adults who, as a result of the expansion of dependent coverage eligibility, can now be added to or kept on a parent’s health insurance policy, and the almost 4 million non-elderly residents of the State with a pre-existing health condition who, as of 2014, cannot be denied coverage by an insurer; and
Whereas, So that all New Jerseyans are fully informed of their options and responsibilities under the ACA, and receive timely information and assistance in navigating the health insurance marketplace and enrolling for coverage; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. This House urges the Governor to fully utilize the federal grant funds allocated to the State for outreach and public education about the health insurance marketplace and the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
2. Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the Speaker of the General Assembly and attested to by the Clerk thereof, shall be transmitted to the Governor and the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance.
This resolution urges the Governor to fully utilize the funds allocated to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance under Section 1311 of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA). Those funds are to be used for certain approved activities, including public outreach and education about the health insurance marketplace and the ACA. Only $3,400 of the $7.67 million authorized has been spent thus far, and any amounts not used will be recaptured by the federal government in early 2014.
Many New Jerseyans will benefit from the ACA, yet at the same time, polls show that they are unaware of the law’s mandate that they proactively obtain health insurance, or pay a fine for failing to do so. There is a need for increased education and outreach across the State to inform all residents of the benefits and requirements of the ACA. This House respectfully urges the Governor to direct that the available funds be utilized toward that end.