Assembly passes health exchange bill

TRENTON – The Assembly passed the health insurance bill to provide coverage for low-income residents. It passed 42-35 and mirrors the version passed earlier today in the Senate.

A2171/S1319, sponsored by Herb Conaway Jr., (D-7), Delran; Troy Singleton, (D-7), Mount Laurel, is designated as the “New Jersey Health Benefit Exchange Act,” and creates a statewide health insurance exchange pursuant to the federal “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

Business groups fought it as detrimental to the economic recovery but supporters cheered it as a necessary aid to those most in need of basic health care.

Conaway said that among other things they liberalized requirements so that when the board that will run the exchange is instituted it will have more leeway in determining when to allow larger employers into the exchange.

He also said that in Massachusetts, that state’s costs went from above the national average to below the national average after instituting this type of health insurance exchange.

Assembly passes health exchange bill