Horizon's for-profit switch

    NJ state senators say the public should have more opportunities to weigh-in on the proposed Horizon Blue Cross conversion.

    A New Jersey Senate panel approved a bill Thursday that could increase public scrutiny of the proposed conversion of the state’s largest health insurance company. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield has applied to become a for-profit company. Officials want to raise more money, and the change would allow them to offer stock in the insurance company. Skeptics say the conversion could narrow healthcare options across New Jersey.

    The bill increases the number of required public hearings on the proposal. The legislation — from Sens. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) and Robert Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) – would also require a health impact study. Supporters say the analysis would reveal the impact of a for-profit switch on the healthcare that Horizon plan members receive. The bill now goes to the full senate for its consideration.

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