2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 26 - HEALTH AND VITAL STATISTICS
Section 26:15-1 - Findings, declarations relative to health care coverage.
26:15-1 Findings, declarations relative to health care coverage.
1.The Legislature finds and declares:
a.There are an estimated 1.25 million residents of the State who have no health insurance coverage, of which over 240,000 are children, and the number of uninsured residents is increasing each year;
b.While employer-sponsored health care coverage in the State is well above the national average and has been a major factor in keeping the number of uninsured lower than in many states, because of the rising cost of the coverage, increasing numbers of employers are considering dropping coverage for their employees and dependents, or are requiring employees to share in a greater percentage of premium costs and to bear larger copayments and coinsurance, which is making health care coverage increasingly unaffordable to low and moderate income working families;
c.Persons without health insurance coverage receive less preventive care, poorer treatment for both minor and serious chronic and acute illnesses, and in many cases live shorter lives than comparable insured populations;
d.Many uninsured are forced to seek health care in inappropriate settings such as hospital emergency rooms because they cannot obtain needed health care services in a convenient and more cost-effective setting such as a primary care provider's office or clinic, which contributes to higher health care costs;
e.The uninsured are commonly billed at higher rates than those who have health care coverage. Health care costs have become a leading cause of bankruptcy in this country, and those without insurance are most at risk;
f.The State has recognized the importance of increasing access to health care coverage and, over the last several years, has enacted several reforms to make health care coverage more affordable and accessible to residents of the State. Among these reforms are the expansions of coverage under the State Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare programs. Despite these efforts, too many low income parents and children lack access to health care coverage;
g.In order to ensure that more low income parents in the State have access to health care coverage and all children in the State are covered under a health plan, thus moving closer to providing universal coverage for all residents of this State, it is necessary to further expand coverage for parents under the NJ FamilyCare Program, and mandate that all children in the State have health care coverage, either through public programs or private coverage; and
h.In order to make insurance coverage more affordable to residents and small businesses in this State, and to stabilize enrollment in, and the costs of, individual and small employer health benefits plans, it is also necessary to adopt comprehensive reform measures to the insurance marketplace.
L.2008, c.38, s.1.
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