Department of Human Services | Commissioner Velez and Congressman Pallone Announce New Healthcare Accomplishments for New Jersey Children and Families
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For Immediate Release:
May 31, 2007

For Information, Contact:
Suzanne Esterman, (609) 292-3703

New Brunswick — Acting Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone Jr., D-6th, today announced new accomplishments made on the state and national levels to provide health insurance to low-income children and their families.
 
 
Speaking at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Acting Commissioner Velez announced that the Department of Human Services has exceeded Gov. Jon S. Corzine's initiative to insure an additional 50,000 children through the NJ FamilyCare program by July 2007.

Since February 2006, when Governor Corzine charged DHS with the enrollment goal, more than 96,000 new children have become insured by NJ FamilyCare.

“Thanks to the courage and vision shown by Congressional Leadership, millions of low income kids and their families will continue to be served by the SCHIP program,” Governor Corzine said. “The federal government ought to be encouraging states to seek innovative ways to cover more of their citizens, and this funding is an important demonstration of support. On behalf of governors across the country, I want to thank Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and members of New Jersey's Congressional delegation for their tireless dedication and fierce advocacy on behalf of this vital program. I look forward to working with them on comprehensive SCHIP reauthorization in the coming months.”

NJ FamilyCare provides free or low-cost health care coverage to income-eligible children. The program, part of Medicaid's State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, also covers eligible parents at certain income levels. New Jersey receives federal matching funds for SCHIP, and Acting Commissioner Velez applauded Rep. Pallone and the state's congressional delegation in their success to keep the program fully funded through October.

“By making a commitment to expand the NJ FamilyCare program, New Jersey will need more financial help from the federal government," said. Rep. Pallone, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.  "Fortunately, the Democratic Congress approved an emergency supplemental bill last week that provides critical funding to New Jersey and 13 other states so that they do not face funding shortfalls in the coming months.  Had the new Democratic Congress not acted, New Jersey would have started running out of funds tomorrow, which would have forced the state to cut off care to thousands of families.”

Acting Commissioner Velez and Rep. Pallone were joined by state Senator Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, D-Middlesex/Somerset, Assemblyman Charles Epps, D-Hudson, and Ceceila Zalkind, executive director of the Association for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ).

“Thanks to the hard work of our Congressional delegation, ACNJ, Senator Vitale and his colleagues, New Jersey has exceeded Governor Corzine's goal for NJ FamilyCare enrollment. But now is not the time for rest, we must be unwavering in our commitment to insure every eligible child,” said Acting Commissioner Velez.

“Our government, at the state and federal levels, continues to demonstrate its compassion for those who need our help the most by providing a vital link so New Jersey's children and families have greater access to the care we provide. It's a terrific example of good government in action, and all of us in the health care profession are appreciative.” said Stephen K. Jones, interim president and CEO of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Children in a family of four whose family income is up to $72,275 annually are eligible. Parents in a family of four can be eligible if their family income is up to $23,748. Currently, there are 536,102 children and 163,303 adults covered through NJ FamilyCare. Of those, 128,091 children and 85,205 adults are covered through SCHIP. The rest are covered through Medicaid.

For more information on the NJ FamilyCare program, visit www.njfamilycare.org or call 1-800-701-0710.

 
 
 
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