The federal government will pay half the health-care costs for 57,000 low-income adults in New Jersey who previously were insured with state money. The change announced Thursday will save the state an estimated $300 million by 2014. It means childless adults without federally mandated insurance will continue to be covered despite the state’s budget crunch.
Dr. Don Berwick, head of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services, applauded the state for offering coverage now for those who will be covered under the federal health law in 2014. “It’ll make those patients safer, the total cost of care will fall in the long run, they won’t end up in ERs at higher costs because they’ll have care available under more stable funding,” Berwick said. With new eligibility requirements, about 10,000 more adults will also qualify for the state’s Medicaid program under the change.