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Lance Moves to Protect 90,000 NJ Insurance Plans

Office of Congressman Leonard Lance

Thursday, December 5, 2013 • 8:59am

WASHINGTON, D.C.  --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ 07) today authored a letter to Administrator MarilynTavenner requesting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services step in and assist insurers in maintaining health plans for thousands of New Jerseyans who are losing their insurance under Obamacare.

Time is of the absolute essence.  Thousands of New Jersey residents are scrambling this holiday season to ensure continued health coverage for families,” said Lance, a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.  Lance has heard from countless constituents facing a Jan. 1 drop date.  “The federal government should ensure that these New Jersey residents who like their health care plans are able to keep them and meet the President’s promise.”

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ)  is just one of many insurance companies faced with onerous new ObamaCare regulations that have resulted in rising premiums and the cancellation of an estimated 90,000 existing plans that do not meet the new law’s standards.   The President attempted to maintain his promise of allowing consumers who “like their plans be able to keep their plans” by executive order last week, but the new law makes maintaining these current policies nearly impossible.  

Lance’s letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asks the administrative agency to take immediate action to protect these 90,000 New Jerseyans:

Dear Administrator Tavenner:

I am writing to request that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) take immediate action to protect the current health care policies of more than 90,000 New Jerseyeans.

As you know, President Obama recently requested that governors and state insurance commissioners allow insurers to renew plans in response to the tide of criticism that he had broken a promise to the American people that “if you like your health plan, you can keep it.”  

New Jersey regulators announced on November 27th that health insurance companies can decide for themselves whether to renew the policies of thousands of consumers who previously were told the policies did not meet federal standards under the health care law and would be cancelled.  Following this announcement, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) moved to renew its Basic and Essential and Basic and Essential Plus plans (B & E plans) currently held by more than 90,000 Garden State members.  

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, however, this week said, "Further guidance provided as recently as this week by the federal government makes clear that even if an individual wants to keep their existing coverage in New Jersey, certain provisions will still be altered in order to make each plan consistent with federal mandates."

Your apparent decision not to allow the renewal of current B & E plans runs counter to President Obama's declaration that health insurers would be able to renew recently cancelled plans with state approval.

I respectfully request that CMS honor the President’s commitment to the American people and allow Horizon BCBSNJ to renew current B & E plans for its more than 90,000 members.  We look forward to your response to our request



Leonard Lance

Member of Congress

Seventh District, New Jersey

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