Health-care efficiency nets N.J. $17 million in federal funds

The federal Health Department is giving New Jersey a nearly $17 million bonus for the state’s success in enrolling more children in health insurance programs.

New Jersey gets the bonus for surpassing targets in enrolling kids for health-care coverage from Medicaid and the state’s FamilyCare program.

Innovative strategies helped them sign up more kids in low-income families, said Jennifer Velez, head of the state’s Department of Human Services.

“We have eliminated the need for in-person interviewing. One of the best strategies I think we’ve employed is this Express Lane enrollment that’s in partnership with (the departments of) Treasury and with Education,” Velez said. “So we actually can look at people’s tax returns and see if the are without health insurance and then do some targeted outreach to them.”

The bonus money will go into the state’s general fund.

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