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Children’s insurance plans for 1,800 NJ families due to Obamacare

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It doesn’t take an expert in Common Core math to tell you that 1,800 is a much smaller number than 7.1 million. Then again, there is nothing beyond the “good” word of Barack Obama to back up the 7.1 mil enrollment figure, whereas the cancellation notices that went out to 1,800 New Jersey families is a hard, cold fact in the era of Obamacare.

Incidentally, in the interests of comparing apples and apples, 1,800 is the number of Garden State families — not children — who learned this past week the low-cost FamilyCare Advantage program was being phased out because of mandates under the health care law. Since there are 1.83 children under 18 per family in New Jersey, the number of kids affected by this mandate is around 3,300.

According to NJ.com (h/t Breitbart), FamilyCare Advantage, offered by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, was designed for children whose parents who are by no means wealthy but still bring in too much income to qualify for Medicaid. The plan offered medical, dental, and vision coverage for a manageable $144 a month. The program, the first of its kind in the nation, was enacted six years ago. It was viewed as a model for others states seeking economical ways to provide quality coverage for children from working class families.

One parent quoted in the article, Bob Miotla, signed up his son, Robert, for the coverage after his wife’s company stopped offering family coverage about four years ago. Miotla, who is disabled and receives Medicare, said the letter from Horizon “took us by surprise” and made him “extremely angry”:

Without having that safety net, if an illness arises, we will probably take him to the ER.

Obamacare did snuff it out, but it also looks like Horizon was looking for a reason to end it. With all of the federal mandates [for employers to offer insurance] delayed, they didn’t need to do anything right now.

A spokesman for Horizon, Tom Vincz told reporters:

The NJ FamilyCare Advantage plan does not meet all ACA requirements and would have had to be significantly changed. This would have increased considerably the premiums for the plan.

The article doesn’t specify which ACA requirements the plan failed to meet, though maternity care is among the twelve essential conditions health plans need to meet under the law in order to avoid being characterized by the administration as “substandard.”

Danielle Liss, a spokeswoman for the federal Medicaid program, took exception to Horizon’s assessment and action with respect to FamilyCare Advantage, saying:

Horizon had the option to extend any non-ACA compliant plans for another year even without changing benefits to meet the ACA requirements.

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