The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3178.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 1:18 PM

Abstract #68944

Public healthcare coverage issues and trends in New Jersey and their impact on families and communities

Firoozeh Molaparast Vali, PhD, Research Department, New Jersey Hospital Association - HRET, 760 Alexander Road, Princeton, NJ 08543, 609-275-4146,

Recent Current Population Survey data shows an increasing trend in the number of uninsured people nationwide and a significant increase in the number of New Jersey residents without healthcare coverage (15% of the state population). These numbers represent those who have lost their jobs due to economic downturn, business closures/ downsizing; workers whose employers do not offer health plans, who do not qualify for public coverage programs and who cannot afford to purchase individual coverage; as well as the rapidly increasing Hispanic and foreign-born populations who are traditionally more likely to be uninsured. This growing number of uninsured means an increased need for free and low-cost health coverage solutions. Unfortunately, this growing need is simultaneous with sharply rising healthcare costs, creating a significant demand on public health coverage systems at a time of significant budget deficit and shrinking resources. This paper provides an overall perspective on the growing uninsured populations in NJ, its social and economic burdens and health/medical impact. Current policies and barriers to enrollment and retention of uninsured families in Medicaid or SCHIP and future directions for these programs will be discussed in the context of the rising healthcare costs and the very high cost of caring for the uninsured. Cost saving strategies used in NJ to cut Medicaid and SCHIP enrollments as a response to the state budget deficit (changing eligibility rules, increasing premiums/co-payments, reducing benefits, complicating application and renewal processes, etc.) will be presented and their impact on children, families, communities, and safety net providers discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Insurance,

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Uninsured: Reaching, Enrolling and Serving Them

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA