First District Legislators Applaud Agreement Between Horizon And Children’s Hospital Of Philadelphia

Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May and Cumberland) speaks at a news conference to Urge Horizon and Children’s Hospital to Come to Agreement.

FIRST LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT – Noting that the agreement would allow thousands of South Jersey families access to world-class healthcare, Senator Jeff Van Drew and Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matt Milam today applauded Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for finding middle-ground to keep the hospital in-network for Horizon subscribers.

“For the South Jersey families who have come to know and depend on the top-notch service they receive at Children’s Hospital and affiliated practices, this is a huge victory,” said Senator Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic. “Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s leading pediatric research facilities, and in South Jersey, we’re lucky to have such expertise right in our own backyards. Considering that Horizon is the region’s number one insurer – representing 56%of Atlantic County, 34% of Cape May County, and 34% of Cumberland County – any drop in coverage would have been particularly devastating to South Jersey residents. I’m glad to see both parties stepping up to continue their relationship to benefit the families we represent.”

“Parents who feared they would no longer have access to CHOP’s deep bench of medical professionals can breathe a deep sigh of relief,” said Assemblyman Milam, D-Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic. “In this economy, we need to ensure that families who have insurance continue to receive the top-level health care services they have come to expect and do not join the millions of Americans without access to specialized care.”

In September of last year, Horizon had announced to its subscribers that it would be terminating its contract with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, effective March 11, 2009. After the announcement, the health insurer and the hospital continued negotiations to keep CHOP in-network for Horizon subscribers. According to the legislators, today’s announcement of an agreement means that the more than 30,000 patients from New Jersey that use Children’s Hospital each year and are covered by Horizon will continue to have access to the world-class specialized care provided by CHOP.

Children’s Hospital maintains one of the largest pediatric research programs in the nation. In addition to the 430-bed facility located in Philadelphia, CHOP maintains an extensive network of affiliated physicians throughout the South Jersey region.

“Thanks to this agreement, children whose parents are in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield network will continue to receive CHOP’s world-class care at a facility close to home,” said Assemblyman Albano, D-Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic. “This agreement is a tremendous victory for every child whose future relies on the on the dedicated doctors and staff of CHOP.”

“When it comes to the health of a child, parents will understandably do whatever they have to in order to make sure that their kids get the best care possible,” said Senator Van Drew. “With today’s announcement, world-class pediatric care is still within reach for families who want the very best for their kids.”