Tina Trenkner is the Deputy Editor for GOVERNING.com. She edits the Technology and Health newsletters.E-mail: email@example.com
Over six months, nine hospitals in New Jersey will start verifying if newborns have health insurance and assist parents in securing coverage if needed.
A recent New Jersey mandate requires all children to have health insurance. Hospitals statewide are encouraged to enroll uninsured newborns in the state's free or reduced cost FamilyCare program, but until recently there has been no unified way to track who was and was not covered. Now, nine New Jersey hospitals will help ensure that parents have health coverage for their kids soon after a child is born. Over the next few months, participating hospitals in the Insured for Sure program will ask new parents if their newborn will have health insurance. If yes, the hospital will add that newborn's health coverage information to a new database, stating that the child is insured. If no, the hospital will help parents in submitting an application for FamilyCare, which covers children in a family of four earning up to 350 percent of the federal poverty level (about $77,000). That same database will help track the status of the FamilyCare application. New Jersey's Department of Health and Senior Services expects 2,200 newborns to be added to the database each month, and DHSS hopes to have all hospitals participate if this pilot is successful after six months. Thumbnail photo by Nevit Dilmen, through Wikimedia Commons.