Dear Governor Christie:
I am writing to urge you to immediately re-scope the federal grant awarded to New Jersey under Section 1311 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would allow the state to help educate New Jerseyans about the ACA, as well as facilitate enrollment in the new health care marketplace that opened on October 1, 2013.
It is critical that you take action on behalf of New Jersey families to find appropriate ways to spend the approximately $7.5 million that the State has access to. While this money may not be enough to reach each and every family in need, it can be a great start in telling New Jerseyans about their health coverage options.
There is a clear need for outreach and education in New Jersey, and these funds can facilitate this at no cost to the state. In addition, any further delay in this outreach could cost many families the ability to get coverage by January 1, 2014. While the federal marketplace enrollment period will end on March 31, 2014, families must sign up by December 23, 2013 in order to get coverage on the first day of the New Year.
New Jersey families deserve their health care needs to be met, and not using these grant funds endangers the opportunity for New Jerseyans to benefit from affordable, quality health insurance that is available as a result of the ACA.
The ACA is the law of the land, and every day it is helping more people get access to the coverage they need -- some for the first time. I urge you to spend this grant funding so that New Jersey families can realize the full benefits of the law.