TRENTON – Senate Commerce Chair Nia H. Gill and Senate Health Chair Joseph F. Vitale today issued the following statement in response to the refusal of Department of Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Richard J. Badolato to halt the sale of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s OMNIA health plans:
“Acting Commissioner Badolato’s decision describes in detail a flawed approval process that is lacking oversight. The decision further provides evidence that the department approved a plan that failed to meet the standards required under the law.
“By continuing to allow the plans to be sold, Acting Commissioner Badolato again potentially violated the department’s own rules and regulations. And his decision demonstrates the need for oversight and transparency regarding the OMNIA Alliance and tiered plans. The commissioner’s decision clearly distorts the effect the plans may have on our state and its residents.
“The department’s approval process must be completed before the department allows for the sale of health plans on the marketplace. By not stopping the sale of the plans, the acting commissioner has failed to protect the consumers of New Jersey.
“Clearly, there is a need to address the inadequacies that exist, and now it is evident that neither Horizon nor the department charged with oversight can be trusted to do so. As such, we intend to introduce legislation next week that will work to address tiered networks introduced in 2015 and the network adequacy approval process, as well as increase transparency and regulation of tiered network products offered on the commercial and State Health Benefits Plan markets.”