TRENTON – Sen. Nia Gill will introduce a modified health benefit exchange bill next month that calls for having more presence from industry officials to sit on its board, and scraps the $50,000 salary for each of the members who’d serve on the board.
Gov. Chris Christie vetoed her bill in June, partly because of the salary provision.
A State Street Wire review conducted in March found that New Jersey’s proposed salary for its board members was easily the highest of states seeking to set up such mechanisms. Many states didn’t compensate their members, outside of travel expenses.
Christie said at the time of his veto that the federal Affordable Health Care Act, which heavily relies on state health benefit exchanges for its implementation, was still being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and it’d be premature for New Jersey to pass legislation pertaining to it.
The highest court ultimately ruled that the federal health law is constitutional.
Gill, in a statement, pointed that out and said it’s time to move forward.
“Now that federal health care reform has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, it is imperative we take the steps necessary to ensure New Jersey residents can access all of the benefits of the law. Creating a state-based health exchange is critical to that effort,” Gill said. “A locally-governed exchange will ensure that residents who are uninsured or underinsured, as well as small businesses that are seeking plans for their employees, are able to purchase affordable, quality health coverage that best meet their needs.”