“Ensuring that children have a healthy start in life is a paramount concern of this administration,” Governor Corzine said. “With each these mailings, we are finding more families eager to enroll their uninsured children in NJ FamilyCare. I am pleased that these Express Lane outreach efforts have already benefited hundreds of New Jersey families.”
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, families have identified hundreds of thousands of children who may 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 children’s health insurance program.
“In less than two months, about 130,000 Express Lane applications have been mailed to identified households and nearly 5,000 families have returned the simple application form,” Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez said. “I imagine some families open the letter and think an offer to insure their children is ‘too good to be true,’ but we’re striving to enroll every eligible child until there are none left.”
In early June, DHS sent a regionalized mailing to households in Middlesex, Union and Somerset counties. A second mailing in late June went to families in Essex and Hudson counties.
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.