Press Releases

Vitale, Greenwald: New Reforms Already Working To Decrease Number Of Kids Without Health Coverage

For Release: December 2, 2008

Contact: Brian McGinnis, 856-435-1247

Senator Vitale, 732-855-7441

VITALE, GREENWALD: NEW REFORMS ALREADY WORKING

TO DECREASE NUMBER OF KIDS WITHOUT HEALTH COVERAGE

(TRENTON) – Responding to a recent study that reported more than a quarter-million New Jersey children lack health coverage, Senator Joseph Vitale and Assemblyman Louis Greenwald noted that recent reforms to the NJ FamilyCare program already are cutting the number of uninsured kids in the state.

According to the national health care advocacy group Families USA, an average of 267,000 New Jersey children were without health coverage annually between 2005 and 2007. The 12.1 percent uninsured rating ranked ninth-highest in the nation.

But the lawmakers noted the number of children without coverage has since dropped to 210,000, with a further reduction expected from reforms enacted this past July that make it easier for the uninsured to be enrolled in NJ FamilyCare. Among the changes is a presumptive eligibility for all newborns.

NJ FamilyCare covers approximately 170,000 children. During the past five months, 20,000 previously uninsured parents have enrolled.