OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Assemblywoman Joann Downey and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling released the following statement in response to the approval of Assembly Bill A4569 by the Human Services Committee today:
“Those seeking benefits under Medicaid and the New Jersey FamilyCare programs are among the most vulnerable people in our state,” said Assemblywoman Downey, who chairs the Human Services Committee. “This important legislation recognizes the need for a process that determines an applicant’s eligibility for these programs while sparing them and their loved ones from further anxiety and financial hardship.”
Under the bill, the Commissioner of Human Services would be required to develop an information technology platform that would accept, process, and track applications for benefits under the Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare programs. The goals of this system would be to simplify the applications and eligibility determination process for both applicants and staff; to standardize eligibility applications across various State agencies; to provide real-time tracking of applications for applicants and staff; and to provide a platform that may be expanded to encompass other social service applications.
“Applicants for Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare cannot afford to wait several months while their eligibility for these programs is determined,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling. “Not only would this proposed system create improved transparency and access for applicants; it would also provide a precise means of evaluating the performance of all agencies involved in the approval process. This legislation provides Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare with a key measure of accountability, which will in turn ease the burden on vulnerable families and develop trust for this often-opaque system.”