Department of Human Services | Governor Corzine Expands Access to NJ FamilyCare Program
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For Immediate Release:
December 19, 2007

DHS Contact: (609) 292-3703
Press Office: 609-777-2600

State of New Jersey
Office of the Governor
P O Box 001
Trenton NJ 08625-0001

Children in Families Above Current Guidelines Can Enroll For Monthly Premium
WOODBRIDGE – Governor Jon S. Corzine today announced a new initiative that provides universal, affordable access to health insurance for New Jersey children. Through the existing FamilyCare program, children whose family income currently exceeds eligibility guidelines will now be able to enroll in the program for a monthly fee, in early 2008. It is estimated that as many as 15,000 uninsured children may qualify to enroll in this program."Ensuring that children have access to quality medical care is a top priority of my administration," said Governor Corzine. "We have enrolled more than 100,000 children in the NJ FamilyCare program since I took office and today we are expanding access to this critical and successful health insurance program with a new 'buy-in' program that will provide every family in New Jersey with an affordable health care option for their children. Healthier children will mean a healthier New Jersey."

Under the new "buy-in" provision of the NJ FamilyCare program, children in families whose annual family income exceeds current eligibility limits - $72, 275 annual income for a family of four (350 percent of the federal poverty guidelines) can enroll in the program. These children will receive the same services available to NJ FamilyCare recipients, such as coverage for doctor visits, prescription drugs, and hospitalization.

The program is budget neutral for the state and is not dependent upon the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funding. Families must pay the following monthly premiums: $137 for a family with one child; $274 for a family with two children, and $411 for a family with three or more children. Thanks to the state's purchasing power with insurers, the costs are significantly lower than private health insurance premiums.

There are few restrictions to the buy-in program: families with more than one child must enroll all children and families must demonstrate that their children did not have health care coverage for the previous six months. This is to prevent individuals who currently have insurance from dropping their coverage to enroll in the program.

"There are simply too many children in New Jersey without health care insurance," said Department of Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez. "Today, thanks to the leadership of Governor Corzine and the Legislature we have one more way to enroll them."

"When I wrote the law creating this new program, I believed then, as I do now, that affordable universal healthcare access for all children is a fundamental right, and an example of how as a state we can move toward a similar program for our 700,000 uninsured adults," said Senator Joseph F. Vitale (D-Woodbridge), the prime sponsor of the legislation.

"Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is delighted to play a part in covering additional uninsured children through the expansion of New Jersey FamilyCare, a program the company has participated in since its inception," said Karen Clark, President and Chief Operating Officer of Horizon NJ Health, a Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey company.

Beginning January 2008, Horizon Health Care of New Jersey will begin offering the buy-in program.

"I want to commend Horizon for its admirable display of citizenship and civic responsibility demonstrated by its willingness to be the provider for this new program," said Banking and Insurance Commissioner Steven M. Goldman. "This is an important additional step in reducing the ranks of New Jersey's uninsured children. We hope this is the first of many such steps moving toward the reduction of New Jersey's uninsured."

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


Photos and audio and video clips from Governor Corzine's public events are available in the Governor's Newsroom section on the State of New Jersey web page,

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