NEW JERSEY, N.J. — New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie signed a bill Tuesday that would make it easy for people to enroll on the state’s health care exchanges and will expand the eligibility for health care services like dental and vision care.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Paul LoBiondo and Republican Assemblywoman Mary Pat Flaherty, would allow eligible people to sign up for insurance coverage via their state’s HealthCare.gov website and then get a government subsidy to help cover out-of-pocket costs, which would then be distributed to them.
The program would also make it cheaper to purchase insurance across state lines, and the bill says insurance companies would be required to offer lower premiums and lower deductibles.
The plan is the latest in a series of steps Christie has taken to increase access to health care under his administration, including signing an executive order that allows the state to cover up to 100,000 people for a total of $200 million.
But it’s not the first time that he’s tried to expand access to the health care system.
In January, Christie signed an executive action expanding coverage for certain low-income New Jerseyans and lowering costs for those with pre-existing conditions.
The health care bill is similar to legislation he signed in June, which included a $50 million grant to help low-wage workers get health insurance, and also a measure that expanded Medicaid eligibility.
But the state didn’t receive any federal funds to help fund the expansion.