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Calls Trump Administration Substitutes “Chasms”

TRENTON – Responding to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis released this week of 24 distinct short-term health insurance products, Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vitale repeated his call that the State institute safeguards against the lack of coverage exposed in the report.

Having spearheaded two major pieces of legislation to protect New Jersey against President Trump’s and Congressional Republicans’ dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, Senator Vitale has placed the state as the nation’s premier protector of meaningful and comprehensive healthcare plans.

Monday’s publication of the Foundation’s study revealed that of 24 short-term products currently marketed in 45 states and the District of Columbia through two major national online brokers,

  • 43 percent do not cover mental health services;
  • 62 percent do not cover substance abuse treatment;
  • 71 percent do not cover outpatient prescription drugs; and
  • not one covers maternity care.

“Those are not simply gaps in coverage; they’re chasms through which individuals and families in need of common, everyday healthcare will plummet,” Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex) said.  “As the Trump Administration pushes these plans as cheaper alternatives to those that comply with the Affordable Care Act, we see that these short-term plans do indeed fall far short of what the people of New Jersey rightly deserve.”

With the federal individual mandate repeal to go into effect next year, the New Jersey Legislature has sent legislation to Governor Murphy to shield its citizens against loss of health insurance and higher premiums.

Both the “New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act” which reestablishes the core of the mandate, and the “New Jersey Health Insurance Premium Security Act” that allows for a stabilizing reinsurance program, await Governor Phil Murphy’s signature to position the state as the first in the nation to Trump-proof healthcare.

“I’m hopeful that our legislative efforts will soon provide vital safety nets for individuals and families in need of affordable, accessible health care,” Vitale continued.  “Partnering with the new Administration and with my colleagues in the Legislature, we will continue to work to bring wave upon wave of positive action, like supporting the individual market and bringing down health care premiums, that enhances life in the Garden State.”

Massachusetts is currently the only state to have its own mandate, put in place years before the federal law was enacted.  As other states scramble to protect residents’ health coverage, New Jersey is at the forefront with impending enactment.