Proposed Medicaid Changes Would Wreak Havoc On NJ FamilyCare

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STATE — Proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid program through a “waiver” of federal rules governing the program would wreak havoc on NJ FamilyCare, bringing the total number of uninsured parents in working poor families denied health coverage to 93,000 and touching every county in the state when prior cutbacks are also taken into account, according to an analysis by New Jersey Policy Perspective.

Essex and Hudson counties have the highest number of uninsured adults losing coverage, but there are also substantial numbers of adults losing coverage in non-urban Ocean County and wealthier counties such as Morris and Somerset. The loss of an insurance option for those adults is likely to place greater pressure on other medical providers, such as hospital emergency rooms, according to the nonpartisan, nonprofit policy analysis group.

The data further showed that the exclusion of parents last year resulted in about 18,000 children not enrolling in FamilyCare, and the number would only increase as a result of new proposed new cutbacks in parent eligibility in the waiver.

Finally, while the stated purpose of the waiver is to maximize federal funding, the waiver would have the opposite effect for NJ FamilyCare. While closing enrollment would reduce state expenses by $9 million, it would cause the state to lose as much as $17 million in federal matching funds.

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