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NEWS RELEASE:
Governor Jon S. Corzine
October 23, 2009 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Robert Corrales
609-777-2600

Net Increase of New Jersey Children Receiving NJ FamilyCare Tops 102,000
NEWARK - Governor Jon S. Corzine, accompanied by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, today announced the launch of the ‘Cover our Kids Community Campaign’ to enhance NJ FamilyCare outreach efforts through community-based and faith-based organizations. The project involves multiple statewide training sessions to familiarize community leaders and local agencies with the program’s eligibility requirements and application process.
 
 
Governor Corzine and Secretary Sebelius held a roundtable discussion with parents directly impacted by this important free or low-cost health insurance program for working families. 

“We will ensure every child in our state gets the health insurance they need and deserve,” said Governor Corzine.  “This grassroots effort is the logical next step in our multi-faceted enrollment strategy.  Community-based organizations act as trusted resources among the people they serve. They know how to best connect with families with uninsured children.”

“In New Jersey, we are setting the national standard to ensure our families have secure and affordable health care and our children have a healthy start in life.  We have ramped up our enrollment efforts and worked fervently by expanding NJ FamilyCare to include a child mandate. We said, ‘NO' to the Bush administration when it tried to cut 10,000 kids out of New Jersey's FamilyCare Program and we have created innovative programs to reach and enroll every eligible child. Providing access to affordable health insurance and expanding eligibility has and will continue to be a priority of my Administration.”

The fall series of the ‘Cover our Kids Community Campaign’ began on Monday, October 19th in Hudson and Gloucester Counties. Trainings are scheduled statewide through Friday, October 30th.  A detailed list is attached below.  Another round of training will occur early next year. 

“New Jersey is already using aggressive, innovative approaches to reach out to children and their families,” said Secretary Sebelius. “The Cover Our Kids Campaign will strengthen these efforts and help ensure more children get the quality health care they need.”

A two-hour instruction, led by representatives from the state Department of Human Services (DHS) and Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) - the NJ FamilyCare application process manager - immediately followed the Governor’s roundtable discussion with parents in Newark. 

“With our most recent NJ FamilyCare advertising campaign and our Express Lane Eligibility mailings, we have been inundated with inquiries from a variety of agencies wanting to help,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “Over 102,000 new children have been enrolled since 2006 but we have more work to do. We will not stop until every eligible child is covered.”

In September, the Governor announced that number of New Jerseyans without health insurance decreased by more than 11%, or 147,000 individuals, the second largest reduction in the nation between 2007 and 2008. At the same time, the number of uninsured in the U.S. rose by 1.5 percent, according to a U.S. Census report on the income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the United States in 2008.

The Governor credited aggressive initiatives aimed at enrolling those without health insurance for the declining New Jersey rate. He also credited the decrease to the landmark New Jersey Health Care Reform Act of 2008 that he signed into law last July which expanded health insurance eligibility and provided more access to affordable health insurance for all children.

In June, New Jersey rolled-out the Express Lane Eligibility program which uses information from NJ-1040 forms to identify uninsured children. New Jersey is the first state to use the information gathered from the streamlined process to enroll children in the NJ FamilyCare program. 

Earlier this month, 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 for school district pilot programs and various community-based organizations assisting the districts’ enrollment.

In addition, assistance from health providers such as hospitals, family planning clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers have improved the ability to enroll eligible families.

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 children in families earning more than 350 percent FPL. The maximum monthly premium is $411 for a family with three or more children. 

For more information on the NJ FamilyCare programs, call 1-800-701-0710 or visit  www.njfamilycare.org.

The ‘Cover our Kids Community Campaign’ still has open slots available for trainings, though space is limited. Interested organizations should contact Melba Colon with questions; or RSVP to Melba at (609) 984-8198 or melba.colon@dhs.state.nj.us.  Space is limited.  Please reserve a training date right away

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‘Cover Our Kids Community Campaign’
Learn about NJ FamilyCare, New Jersey’s health insurance program offering free or low cost coverage for children and certain low income parents.

Middlesex County – Friday, October 23

10 AM to 12 PM

Legal Services
100 Metroplex
Edison


Union County – Saturday, October 24

10 AM to 12 PM

Community Coordinated Child Care
225 Long Avenue
Hillside


Camden County – Monday, October 26

1 PM to 3 PM

Tenth Street Baptist Church
1860 South 10th Street
Camden


Hudson County – Monday, October 26

10 AM to 12 PM

Starting Points for Children
2737 Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City


Essex County – Wednesday, October 28

10 AM to 12 PM

Association for Children of NJ
35 Halsey Street
Newark


Bergen County - Friday October, 30

10 AM to 12 PM

Friends of Grace
40 Bennett Road
Englewood

Passaic County - Friday October, 30

2 PM to 4 PM

Concerned Parents for Head Start
500 E. 35th Street & 20th Avenue
Paterson


Essex County – Friday, October 30

10 AM to 12 PM

Association for Children of NJ
35 Halsey Street
Newark

 
 
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Photos from Governor Corzine's public events are available at www.nj.gov/governor/news

Video from the Governor's Office is available at www.nj.gov/governor/news/video and www.youtube.com/user/jonscorzine

 
 
 
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