Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) today praised the decision of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to qualify New Jersey parents previously covered under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as "newly eligible" for the NJ Medicaid State Plan, thanks to the expansion of coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The new policy will enable New Jersey to receive increased federal funds to help cover parents beginning in 2014.
The Affordable Care Act will expand coverage to 32 million more people, and nearly half of that expansion will occur through the Medicaid Program. Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) determine the amount of federal matching funds for state expenditures for medical services under Medicaid. To prevent states from shouldering the costs of the expanding health coverage, in 2014, the Affordable Care Act ensures that the federal government covers 100 percent of the costs of individuals "newly eligible" for health coverage under Medicaid. New Jersey had previously been paying 35 percent of the cost of providing health insurance for these parents.
"In order for New Jersey to ensure the health of our children, we must take steps to ensure that their parents are healthy too," said Pallone. That's why I have advocated tirelessly to have these parents included as "newly eligible' for Medicaid, which will help provide New Jersey with crucial additional funding to expand quality health care."
"FamilyCare is critically important for the health of New Jersey children, as well as their parents, so I'm very glad that the federal government has recognized New Jersey's past leadership in covering parents and ensuring healthy families," said Senator Menendez, "As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, it was my priority as part of the Affordable Care Act to ensure that New Jersey received its fair share of federal reimbursement for having already covered this population, and this announcement of enhanced funding, including 100% federal funding for the first two years, accomplishes that goal. Now these families can rest assured that they will be able to continue to receive the care they need."
"This ruling is big win for New Jersey and another example of how the Affordable Care Act is working to benefit families in our state," stated Lautenberg. "As New Jersey is struggling to pass a budget that upholds basic services for working families, this federal relief will ensure that thousands of New Jersey parents have access to affordable, quality health care."