Affordable Care Act Bill Package Clears Committee

Trenton – A package of bills authored by the Senate Commerce Committee Chair Nellie Pou and Senator Joseph Vitale that would put into state law many of the health care reforms from the federal 2010 Affordable Care Act gained the approval of the Senate Commerce Committee today.

The bills will help to protect New Jersey residents currently benefiting from the Affordable Care Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. The New Jersey bills would codify the federal reforms into state law. They would also authorize the Department of Banking and Insurance to establish, operate, and fund a state-based exchange for Medicaid and other health benefits plans. The package comes in response to New Jersey and 16 other states appealing the decision of a federal judge in Texas who ruled the Affordable Care Act law unconstitutional in January 2019.

“Health insurance is a necessity in American life,” said Senator Pou (D-Bergen/Passaic). “The ACA was monumental legislation and expanded coverage for thousands of New Jerseyans. We can’t let the people of our state go without insurance now because of the erratic leadership in the white house and on Capitol Hill. Everyone deserves the right to affordable healthcare and codifying this federal law into state law will help give New Jerseyans more options and greater coverage for years to come, regardless of who is in charge of the oval office.”

“With the federal government in turmoil, I’m glad the state legislature is doing everything we can to ensure that the people who benefit from the Affordable Care Act will continue to be protected,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex). “We cannot leave the health and safety of New Jerseyans up to the whims of the oval office. This legislation, particularly the state-based exchange for health benefits plans, will go a long way in ensuring our state can offer affordable health care too all of our residents.”

  • 49 – Sponsored by Senator Pou, Senator Gill, Senator Vitale and Senator Gopal, the bill would authorize DOBI to establish State-based exchange for certain health insurance plans and coordinate with The Department of Human Services. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-2.
  • 562 – Sponsored by Senator Gill and Senator Singleton, the bill would preserve the requirement that health insurance plans cover essential health benefits. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 4-1.
  • 626 – Sponsored by Senator Gordon and Senator Vitale, the bill would clarify prohibition on preexisting condition exclusions in health insurance policies. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.
  • 3802 – Sponsored by Senator Pou and Senator Weinberg, the bill would require the continuation of health benefits dependent coverage until the child is 26 years old. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.
  • 3803 – Sponsored by Senator Pou and Senator Ruiz, the bill would require health benefits coverage for certain preventive services. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.
  • 3804 – Sponsored by Senator Ruiz and Senator Pou, the bill would revise requirements for health benefits coverage of contraceptives and prohibit insurance carriers from imposing a deductible, coinsurance, copayment, or any other cost-sharing requirement on coverage for prescription female contraceptives. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-1-1.
  • 3805 – Sponsored by Senator Ruiz and Senator Pou, the bill would require health benefits coverage for breastfeeding support. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.
  • 3806 – Sponsored by Senator Vitale and Senator Cryan, the bill would establish an annual open enrollment period under the Individual Health Coverage Program. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.
  • 3808 – Sponsored by Senator Singleton and Senator Diegnan, the bill would repeal statute authorizing offering of “Basic and Essential” health benefits plans under individual health benefits and small employer health benefits plans and other statutes concerning basic health plans; makes conforming amendments The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-2.
  • 3809 – Sponsored by Senator Pou and Senator Lagana, the bill would expand rate review processes in DOBI for certain individual and small employer health benefits plan. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-2.
  • 3810 – Sponsored by Senator Singleton and Senator Lagana, the bill would revise certain permissible rating factors for premiums charged for individual and small employer health benefits plan. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-2.
  • 3812 – Sponsored by Senator Cryan and Senator Diegnan, the bill would apply a 85 percent loss ratio requirement to large group health insurance plans. The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.