Peterson legislation protecting taxpayer funded Covid-19 health services advanced by Assembly

Erik Peterson

TRENTON, N.J. – Public funds dedicated to counties for Covid-19 testing, diagnosis and treatment would be preserved for those in greatest need under a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Erik Peterson and advanced by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee today.

The bill (A5215) allows counties to access state data to determine if a Medicaid patient has secondary insurance and then bill that carrier for Covid-related health expenses.

“We have to look after what limited funds we have in order to protect New Jerseyans who are uninsured and find themselves needing Covid-related medical care,” said Peterson (R-Hunterdon). “The public health crisis and response from Gov. Phil Murphy resulted in a terrible economic downturn, which ultimately led more people to enroll in Medicaid. It’s our fiduciary duty to ensure that these patients don’t have secondary insurance that could pay Covid claims so that we can preserve taxpayer-supported services.”

More than 70.5 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid. As New Jerseyans lost their jobs and employer-sponsored health insurance plans during the pandemic, Medicaid enrollment among adults soared. New Jersey’s adult enrollment was up 27 percent in January 2021 compared to this time last year.

Peterson’s bill allows a county to make a claim to a Medicaid patient’s secondary insurance carrier retroactively to the governor’s first Covid-19 state of emergency declaration on March 9.


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