The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has granted the state’s request for a waiver that will save the state’s taxpayers more than $300 million in the coming three years.
Under the waiver, the federal government will pay half the cost to cover childless adults earning $140 or less per month. The state now pays the full cost for approximately 57,000 people. An estimated 10,000 additional people would qualify for coverage.
The waiver will begin immeidately and run through 2012.
The waiver is good news for the state and for Gov. Chris Christie who had factored more than $80 million in savings into the fiscal year 2012 budget.
“This announcement is more proof of the positive impact that the new Affordable Care Act is already having in New Jersey,” U.S. Rep. Bob Menendez said in a statement announcing the waiver. “This waiver is a win for New Jersey’s budget as the state will receive hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government in the next two and a half years as a result of this announcement. In addition, 70,000 New Jerseyans can now rest easy knowing that they will have access to essential Medicaid benefits.”
HHS also announced that states needing to update computer technology to accommodate changes in Medicaid enrollment brought on by the healthcare reform bill signed into law last year will be eligible for a 90 percent reimbursement from the federal government. The rule ups the matching grant from 50 percent.