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Commissioner Jennifer Velez meets a child at Starting Points for Children, a community-based organization in Jersey City, whose family enrolled her in NJ FamilyCare through the Express Lane Eligibility initiative.

NEWS RELEASE
Governor Jon S. Corzine
October 1, 2009

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Robert Corrales
609-777-2600

TRENTON – Corzine Administration officials today announced that the NJ FamilyCare program hit a landmark milestone of nearly 100,000 new children enrolled since January 2006.  As a result of the first-in-the-nation Express Lane Eligibility initiative, the elimination of premiums for some working families, and a broadcast media campaign, more than 12,000 children have been enrolled in NJ FamilyCare since June 2009.
 
 
New Jersey Awarded $2 Million to Expand FamilyCare Enrollment
In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) named New Jersey the recipient of a $988,177 grant to conduct a school and community partnership enrollment effort that includes the hiring of a school-based NJ FamilyCare facilitator to perform outreach to families with children who are eligible but not yet enrolled in the program. The funding is expected to be used to pilot ten school districts and various community-based organizations assisting the districts’ enrollment.

“New Jersey is absolutely setting the standard nationwide for innovative and progressive Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollment efforts,” Governor Corzine said. “Through our inter-departmental coordination and efforts, New Jersey is taking every opportunity we can to reach all eligible children and the results support our success.”

The Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey, an affiliate of the New Jersey Hospital Association, received a $988,177 grant from DHHS to develop enrollment strategies for hospitals, clinics and other healthcare delivery sites. These facilities are committed to enrolling the uninsured into government coverage programs, but don’t have the authority to enroll patients themselves. The grant funds will help HRET examine the hurdles healthcare providers face in helping their patients apply for insurance coverage. The project also will examine enrollment obstacles at county welfare agencies, which are a critical part of the enrollment process.

“We’re all in this together,” said NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan. “It takes a committed partnership to ensure that the children of New Jersey receive the healthcare coverage they need, and we’re fortunate to have that partnership among the Corzine Administration, our healthcare providers and dozens of school and community groups across the state.”

The ‘Cabinet Call to Action’ is part of a multi-departmental outreach campaign. Commissioners and other administrators visited hospitals, pre-schools, schools, federally qualified health centers, non-profit agencies, one-stop career centers, and community centers to meet with parents directly impacted by NJ FamilyCare and organization leaders to encourage community-based enrollment. Administration Officials held 19 events in 11 counties.  This statewide awareness and outreach effort will ensure that more families sign their children up for this important program.

Participating administration officials included Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, Education Commissioner Lucille Davy, Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard, Children and Families Commissioner Kimberly Ricketts, Banking and Insurance Commissioner Neil Jasey, Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner David Socolow, Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher , Public Advocate Ronald Chen and School Development Authority CEO Kris Kolluri.

“With the leadership of Governor Corzine and positive support from U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, New Jersey is seeing great success in our enrollment efforts,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “We look forward to expanding our collaborative outreach strategies to reach and enroll every eligible child.”

In July 2008, Governor Corzine signed landmark legislation that required all children under the age of 19 to be insured through private or public plans.

NJ FamilyCare is administered by the state Department of Human Services as a free or low-cost program for income-eligible families. It covers children in families earning up to 350 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (about $77,000 for a family of four) and parents earning up to 200 percent of FPL (about $44,000 for a family of four).

NJ FamilyCare ADVANTAGE is a ‘buy-in’ program for families earning more than 350 percent FPL. The maximum monthly premium is $411 for a family with three or more children. 


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