New Jersey Initiative To Enroll Eligible Children in FamilyCare

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New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine (D) on Wednesday announced that a new one-page "Express Lane" application for the state's FamilyCare program will be mailed to families who indicated on their state tax forms that they have eligible children who are without health insurance coverage, the Bergen Record reports. Children in families with incomes up to 350% of the federal poverty level are eligible for FamilyCare. The one-page form replaces a 14-page application, which was an obstacle to getting people enrolled, according to state Sen. Joseph Vitale (D). Vitale sponsored a bill that was signed into law in 2008 mandating that children in the state have health insurance.

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NorthJersey.com reports that an estimated 1.2 million New Jerseyans do not have health insurance. NJ FamilyCare provides free or low cost coverage for uninsured children and certain low income parents. At present, 131,586 children and 127,604 adults are enrolled in the program.

"Universal health insurance coverage for children is “a priority, a moral obligation,” said state Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez. New Jersey is the first to have a “tax-time partnership” between parents and the state to identify uninsured children, Velez said."

The New Jersey Department of Human Services and Department of Treasury next month will begin mailing the one-page application to families. Corzine during a press conference said, "We're going to get as many of the 350,000" uninsured children in the state signed up as possible. State Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez said that universal coverage for children is "a priority, a moral obligation," adding that New Jersey is the first state to have a "tax-time partnership" between parents and the state to identify uninsured children (Groves, Bergen Record, 4/15).

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