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Funds will be used to train the public in new application process
TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) was awarded $1 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish and conduct training programs that certify New Jersey counselors and community agencies to provide NJ FamilyCare application assistance to families. Currently, the program provides health insurance to an estimated 708,000 youth from birth to 18 years of age.“This grant will provide a great boost to our ongoing efforts to reach and enroll every eligible uninsured child to NJ FamilyCare,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “The peace of mind having access to doctors, dentists, prescriptions and specialists is invaluable to parents.”

New Jersey is a national model for NJ FamilyCare enrollment strategies and has received nearly $50 million in HHS performance bonuses since 2009. The Office of NJ FamilyCare Outreach works collaboratively with schools, hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers as partners integral to the enrollment process and as trusted community resources among uninsured populations.

Some of the strategies have included:

  • Making online application available, eliminating the need for in-person interviews to apply
  • Using the same one-page application for Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program)
  • Having presumptive eligibility for uninsured children receiving health care services in hospital emergency rooms or clinics
  • Implementing express lane enrollment in partnership with the state Departments of Treasury and Education - using state tax returns to ascertain families without health insurance whose children would qualify based on reported income and outreaching families identified through school documents to have an uninsured child.  
  • Using automatic or administrative renewal of cases

Beginning this Fall, New Jersey will launch a streamlined application and eligibility determination system, called CASS – Consolidated Assistance Social Service Application – which is an upgraded IT system that will provide real-time data review of cases by counties’ staff. In addition, a new, comprehensive training curriculum will be developed and include information on cultural competency and customer service.

“We have key agencies primed, eager and capable of providing assistance, but they need to be re-trained on the new system and on the changes The Affordable Care Act imposes on the rules,” added Commissioner Velez. “This grant enables us to educate, inform and train with the ultimate outcome of insuring more eligible children.”

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