2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 17B - INSURANCE
Section 17B:27A-4.4 - Findings, declarations relative to exclusive provider organization health benefit plans.
17B:27A-4.4 Findings, declarations relative to exclusive provider organization health benefit plans.
1. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
a. While the Legislature enacted ground-breaking health insurance reform in 1992 for the individual market that provided guaranteed-issue, guaranteed-renewal coverage, with a prohibition against rating on the basis of health status and limiting preexisting condition exclusions in policies, the plans that were established by the New Jersey Individual Health Coverage Program Board did not offer sufficient variety or options to insureds in terms of the range of coverages that are provided under the standard plans;
b. The original intent of the Legislature was to give policyholders a wider range of coverage options, including policies that provide reimbursement for basic and essential health care services but do not contain either the traditional mandated benefits to which the standard plans are subject or reimbursement for services which the consumer can more economically pay for himself, rather than having those services paid for through a third-party system, which adds significantly to the cost;
c. The New Jersey Individual Health Coverage Program Board elected to provide little variance in the coverage provided under the standard plans; rather, reductions in premium cost can be obtained primarily through increasing the deductibles to substantial sums, which defeats the objective of making the policies affordable, in that large deductibles represent large out-of-pocket expenses;
d. In the absence of any affirmative action by the board to remedy this situation, it is the purpose of this bill to create a policy that is more affordable than the options that presently exist; even though the benefit package is not as rich as the existing plans, the benefit plan provided by this act will make health insurance more accessible to many individuals that do not have the economic resources to afford the existing plans while still providing essential coverage;
e. It is to the interest of the State and of all health care providers that as many people have access to reasonably affordable health insurance as possible, for this reduces the amount of charity care that providers provide as well as the amount of bad debt that must be absorbed by providers each year.