Details On N.J. Medicaid Program Cuts, Changes, Released

dr_shanik's_offc_tlsGov. Chris Christie’s administration today released a long-anticipated outline of how the state proposes to dramatically restructure New Jersey’s Medicaid program and cut at least $345 million to help close a deficit. The Department of Human Services expects to save as much as $32.5 million by freezing the enrollment in the Medicaid program and its spin-off for working poor people, New Jersey FamilyCare to all but the lowest-income people, according to a document summarizing the proposal. This is the most controversial element of the department’s proposal, that until today did not identify how much money would be saved.

Moving roughly 200,000 people from the more pay-as-you-go plan to an HMO would save a maximum of $40 million. Disability advocacy groups had criticized the proposal, set to launch next month, as a hastily conceived idea that does not take into account people’s complex medical history. More at Star Ledger.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. A very large amount of Lakewood residents are on Jersey Care and this will unfortunately have tremndous detrimental affects. So much for voting for Christie

  2. It seems like those already on will not be chucked. It also seems that the cuts are for adults and not children.

    I hope this does not change.

  3. The adults had a very low limit before this. A family of 5 could not make more than 2,859 a month. And as far as voting for christie, those that did so did it for moral reasons knowing he was going to make these kind of cuts.

  4. The heavy cuts will leave many families statewide (including Lakewood) without any form of insurance for them or their kids. These are families whose low income levels leave them struggling for basics, so purchasing private insurance is obviously not an affordable option – and with the new rules they will no longer even be eligible for family care.

    Is our Senator Singer doing anything to try and avoid this and the other medicaid-related grave decrees??

  5. The heavy cuts will leave many families statewide (including Lakewood) without any form of insurance for them or their kids. These are families whose low income levels leave them struggling for basics, so purchasing private insurance is obviously not an affordable option – and with the new rules they will no longer even be eligible for family care.

    Is our Senator Singer doing anything to try and avoid this and the other medicaid-related grave decrees??

  6. We in Lakewood benefit greatly from the programs that democrats vote for in the legislature. When it comes to voting we do not show the proper Hakoras Hatov and instead vote republican.

  7. Most people are totally ignorant about the whole medicaid / jerseycare issue.

    considering the facts that

    a. the state has to cut their budget
    b. Obama care is supposed to kick in in 2014

    the restructuring of the way family care is working is mainly cutting out administrative waste ( which democrats love ) and are therefore using scare tactics

    what is being cut is NOT the disabled , those already on, the children or the most needy.

    what IS being cut or reduced is

    -Administrative waste, projects that were over costly are being outsourced ( for example OT , speech and parts of mental health are going to given to the HMOs , cutting the rates and the under productive Medicaid offices)
    – people who are not very low income will only get subsidized services until 2014 when obamacare tales over
    – people who are not in total poverty or disabled and want to join now will get reduced services until 2014 when obamacare tales over

    IT IS ACTUALLY THE DEMOCRATS WHO WILL BE CUTTING THE MEDICAID SERVICES

    as Obama care becomes national , those with medicaid will be getting really reduced services as everybody who does not have private plans will be getting the same downgraded services.

  8. Number one. Obamacare is undergoing serious legal challenge in the Federal court system and the way the court’s have thus far decided – it seems unlikely that Obamacare will survive till 2014.

    Number Two. Those people the state is proposing to leave without insurance will just end up going to emergency rooms for their care and have charity care pick up the tab because they simply can’t afford to pay the bill. So there go your fantasized savings.. poof..

    Number Three. Many in the disabled population are indeed being placed in dangerous and risky situation. The ludicrous proposal to remove uniquely complex children suffering with chronic illness from straight Medicaid, and force them into HMOs that have very limited networks, and no proper access to the appropriate specialists – is frightening. The HMO representatives say that will “try to work out a deal” with a specialist if they feel it’s medically necessary – but will provide no commitments or assurances in writing. In fact, under Federal Medicaid Laws it is illegal for the State to place the disabled in HMOs. The state has to apply for a special “waiver” in order to get away with this.

    The HMOs a huge Wall Street invested industry constantly looking to expand. (Incidentally, many second quarter earnings were way up due to lower expenditures – because for some reason people just didn’t get so sick this past quarter.. hmmm…) They’re paying their lobbyists big bucks to convince the state that they know how “manage” the care for this population. They also work out sweetheart deals with the state to get paid plenty extra for taking on the sick and infirm groups.

    Unfortunately, as we all know, there are lawsuits all over the country attesting to how well they really “manage” sick people’s care. Patients and doctors offices across the nation have miserable experiences when a preauthorization is needed for a necessary medical procedure or to see a specialist out of network – even if there is no specialist in the network itself.

    Moreover, this administration has consistently ignored all pleas to address these important concerns. Families and advocates have repeatedly attempted reaching out to Medicaid officials to alleviate their legitimate fears. The only answer received is silence. It should also be mentioned that when these chronically ill patients don’t receive proper healthcare and they get sicker to the point of institutionalization – the HMO will no longer cover them. At that point the bill reverts right back to straight Medicaid.

    It is no wonder that Lawmakers in NJ have gone on record stating that they never seen a worse Medicaid proposal in their entire careers.

    Number Four. Please don’t further misrepresent the facts. The Democrats (and a few republicans) in our State have held and are continuing to hold legislative hearings concerning the harmful and detrimental impact the Christie Medicaid proposal will be meting out to the thousands of poor and disabled individuals.

  9. To # 13,

    Number one. Obamacare is undergoing serious legal challenge in the Federal court system and the way the court’s have thus far decided – it seems unlikely that Obamacare will survive till 2014.

    Number Two. Those people the state is proposing to leave without insurance will just end up going to emergency rooms for their care and have charity care pick up the tab because they simply can’t afford to pay the bill. So there go your fantasized savings.. poof..

    Number Three. Many in the disabled population are indeed being placed in dangerous and risky situation. The ludicrous proposal to remove children with uniquely complex conditions suffering with chronic illness from straight Medicaid, and force them into HMOs that have very limited networks, and no proper access to the appropriate specialists – is frightening. The HMO representatives say that will “try to work out a deal” with a specialist if they feel it’s medically necessary – but will provide no commitments or assurances in writing. In fact, under Federal Medicaid Laws it is illegal for the State to place the disabled in HMOs. The state has to apply for a special “waiver” in order to get away with this.

    The HMOs are a huge Wall Street invested industry constantly looking to expand. (Incidentally, many second quarter earnings were way up due to lower expenditures – because for some reason people just didn’t get so sick this past quarter.. hmmm…) They’re paying their lobbyists big bucks to convince the state that they know how “manage” the care for this population. They also work out sweetheart deals with the state to get paid plenty extra for taking on the sick and infirm groups.

    Unfortunately, as we all know, there are lawsuits all over the country attesting to how well they really “manage” sick people’s care. Patients and doctors offices across the nation have miserable experiences when a preauthorization is needed for a necessary medical procedure or to see a specialist out of network – even if there is no specialist in the network itself.

    Moreover, this administration has consistently ignored all pleas to address these important concerns. Families and advocates have repeatedly attempted reaching out to Medicaid officials to alleviate their legitimate fears. The only answer received is silence. It should also be mentioned that when these chronically ill patients don’t receive proper healthcare and they get sicker to the point of institutionalization – the HMO will no longer cover them. At that point the bill reverts right back to straight Medicaid.

    It is no wonder that Lawmakers in NJ have gone on record stating that they never seen a worse Medicaid proposal in their entire careers.

    Number Four. Please don’t further misrepresent the facts. The Democrats (and a few republicans) in our State have held and are continuing to hold legislative hearings concerning the harmful and detrimental impact the Christie Medicaid proposal will be meting out to the thousands of poor and disabled individuals.

  10. So far, 26 States and the National Federation of Independent Business joined in urging Federal judges to strike down Obamacare.

Comments are closed.