Taxpayers who indicated their children are uninsured to get easy enrollment form “New Jersey 's commitment to ensuring that our children have access to the health care services they deserve is stronger than ever,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine. “This new Express Lane option will help to boost enrollment in NJ FamilyCare which has been a top priority of this administration from day one.”
The Department of Human Services (DHS), in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Treasury, is using information from NJ-1040 forms to identify uninsured children. To date, more than 450,000 children in the state do not have health care coverage, according to data provided by their parents at tax time. New Jersey is the first state to use the information gathered from the streamlined process to enroll children in the state's NJ FamilyCare program.
“This express lane application mailing will help remind families that there are health insurance options available for their children at very low rates, and for some, at no cost at all,” said Commissioner Velez. “By returning this simple application, parents give permission to share tax information for purposes of determining NJ FamilyCare eligibility. This will help identify eligible families we might not otherwise have been able to outreach.”
In May, DHS sent out a test mailing to 11,000 households. About 5 percent — nearly 600 families — have mailed back their applications. To increase awareness and response, the department will be promoting each mailing and enlisting the support of legislators, local social service agencies and faith-based groups to buoy its efforts.
Two health insurance programs are available to help New Jersey 's families. Both plans, NJ FamilyCare and NJ FamilyCare ADVANTAGE, cover children's doctor visits, prescriptions and other medical costs.
NJ FamilyCare is a low-cost or free program for income-eligible families. For instance, a family of four earning up to $77,175 (or 350 percent of the federal poverty level) can qualify to insure their children for about $130 a month in the state- and federally-funded program. Presently, 578,404 children are enrolled in NJ FamilyCare.
NJ FamilyCare ADVANTAGE is a “buy-in” program for families earning more than 350 percent of the federal poverty level. The maximum monthly premium is $411 for a family with three or more children.
Families, whose health insurance status may have changed since filing their 2008 returns, also are encouraged to apply using the basic one-page NJ FamilyCare application. For more information on the NJ FamilyCare programs, call 1-800-701-0710 or visit www.njfamilycare.org.