TRENTON, N.J. – In an effort to preserve the limited public funds dedicated to counties for Covid-19 testing, diagnosis and treatment, the Assembly voted to advance a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Erik Peterson Thursday.
The bill (A5215) allows counties to access state data to determine if an individual has insurance and then bill that carrier for Covid-related health expenses.
“We have to look after what limited funds we have in order to protect New Jerseyans who are truly uninsured and find themselves needing Covid-related medical care,” said Peterson (R-Hunterdon). “The public health crisis and response from Gov. Phil Murphy resulted in a terrible economic downturn, which resulted in people losing their employer-sponsored health care plans and enrolling in Medicaid. It’s our fiduciary duty to ensure that patients don’t have additional insurance that could pay Covid claims so that we can preserve taxpayer-supported services.”
As New Jerseyans lost their jobs during the pandemic, Medicaid enrollment among adults soared. New Jersey’s adult enrollment was up 27 percent in January 2021 compared to the year prior.
Peterson’s bill allows a county to work with the Medicaid Fraud Division in the Office of the State Comptroller to submit coronavirus-related claims to an individual’s insurance carrier retroactively to the governor’s first Covid-19 state of emergency declaration on March 9.