While the federal government was trumpeting the benefits of Obamacare to boost enrollment earlier this year, about 1,800 families in New Jersey were receiving letters telling them their children would be losing their health coverage last week.
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The Affordable Care Act — the federal law that mandates everyone have insurance — effectively killed FamilyCare Advantage, a low-cost option for kids in New Jersey created six years ago for parents who earned too much to qualify for Medicaid and other subsidized programs but too little to buy on a policy on their own. The state program was the first of its kind in the nation.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey was the only insurance carrier that agreed to offer the FamilyCare Advantage plan, which covered most medical, dental and vision needs for the relative bargain of $144 a month per child.
But it didn’t offer mental health treatment and several other services Obamacare requires, and that was the fatal flaw, said Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), who sponsored the law creating the program.