Human Services Commissioner Names New Medicaid Director

Jennifer Langer Jacobs to lead NJ FamilyCare, which provides health care coverage to 1.7 million New Jerseyans

July 9, 2019

(TRENTON) – Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson today announced that Jennifer Langer Jacobs will lead New Jersey Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Programs, which together are known as NJ FamilyCare and provide affordable health care coverage to 1.7 million New Jersey residents. 

Jacobs most recently served as Senior Vice President of Long-Term Care at Sunshine Health, Florida’s largest Medicaid long-term care health plan. From 2010 to 2016, she was a member of the Medicaid leadership team at Amerigroup New Jersey, most recently as Chief Operating Officer. Earlier in her career, Jacobs worked in the New Jersey Senate Majority Office on a range of legislative initiatives.

“I am thrilled that Jenn is coming home to New Jersey to join the Human Services team as Medicaid Director,” said Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “Jenn’s commitment to ensuring health equity in maternal and infant health, supporting older and disabled New Jerseyans who want to live as independently as possible in their communities, and turning the tide of the opioid epidemic by expanding access to treatment make her ideally suited to lead these vital programs.”

Jacobs is expected to start in her new position later this month.

“My passion is making government programs work better for the people they serve. I am delighted to have the chance to lead this essential program in New Jersey where I have spent so much of my career,” Jacobs said.  “Medicaid provides comprehensive health care to individuals and communities, requires high quality partnerships across organizations, and represents a critical part of the State’s economy. I am very grateful for the opportunity to lead the Medicaid team at such an exciting time.” 

Jacobs’ leadership roles in New Jersey also included serving on the board of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans and as Chair of its Medicaid Committee.  She holds a master’s degree in planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Jenn is a dynamic leader with deep roots in health policy and Medicaid operations.  I am confident she will help us advance the critical work that has been happening in Medicaid under the Murphy Administration to expand access to care,” said Human Services Deputy Commissioner Sarah Adelman.  “Medicaid is life-saving and life-sustaining for so many New Jerseyans, and our top priority is to ensure that it delivers high quality, affordable health care coverage.”   

Jacobs replaces former Medicaid Director Meghan Davey, who recently left Human Services to pursue other opportunities.  Commissioner Johnson applauded Davey’s leadership and dedication to the people of New Jersey. 

“Meghan is an outstanding example of a tireless public servant who worked every day for 20 years to help New Jerseyans get the health care services they need to thrive,” Commissioner Johnson said. “We are thankful for her work and the incredible team of dedicated staff she built in Medicaid who continue her legacy.”

Commissioner Johnson noted that Jacobs will join a Medicaid team that has been working aggressively under Governor Murphy to expand access to care and address critical health care challenges, including:

  • Expanding access to opioid addiction treatment by improving how Medicaid pays for treatment, removing prior authorization requirements for medication-assisted opioid treatment, and investing in training more health care providers to offer opioid addiction treatment;
  • Creating new autism benefits under the New Jersey Medicaid program to dramatically expand access to these important services;
  • Establishing doula services in Medicaid to provide additional supports to pregnant women and to respond to evidence showing the impact of doula care on improving health outcomes for women of color;
  • Implementing new ways to support mental health care providers in designing services and offering care to individuals with co-occurring developmental disabilities and behavioral health conditions; and
  • Removing barriers to tobacco cessation benefits in Medicaid to make it easier to tackle this leading preventable cause of death.

The Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs, together known as NJ FamilyCare, are jointly funded by state and federal resources totaling more than $14 billion and provide health coverage for more than 1.7 million New Jerseyans with low-to-moderate incomes.