New Jersey's 30th Legislative District

Senator Robert Singer

Senator Bob Singer

Singer Editorial On Innovative Ways to Cut Health Care Costs, Offer More Affordable Care for New Jersey Families

Please Share:

Bookmark and Share

The following editorial by Senator Robert Singer addressing innovative ways to cut health care costs and offer higher-quality, more affordable care for consumers was published by the Asbury Park Press on Oct. 16, 2015. Senator Singer serves on the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

Sen. Robert Singer discusses the need to support innovative ways to cut health care costs and offer higher-quality, more affordable care for consumers. (©

Rapidly escalating health care costs have left families and businesses across New Jersey struggling to find high quality care they can afford. Consumers in New Jersey now pay the second-highest health care premiums in the country and those costs continue to rise faster than the national average.

The cost of health care for public workers now consumes nearly 10 percent of the state budget and the federal surcharge, which can be as much as $750 million to the state, is looming.

There’s a shared understanding among health care providers, medical professionals and elected officials that the cost trajectory of the current fee-for-service care model is simply unsustainable.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey recently appeared before the Senate health and commerce committees and detailed a collaborative effort with health providers across the state to stem this tide through a value-based health insurance option that will offer higher-quality, more affordable care for consumers.

Through negotiated discounted reimbursements to health care providers and a model where hospitals and doctors are paid for the value of the care they provide, not for the patients they see, Horizon estimates the OMNIA health plan will reduce premiums by 15 percent and cut back on out-of-network costs to the consumer. These savings would allow an estimated 40,000 currently uninsured New Jerseyans to be able to afford health care.

Families struggling with soaring premiums, small business owners faced with reducing benefits for their employers and public officials in Trenton have been calling for these types of changes to correct an unaffordable health system marred with inefficiencies.

Attempts to stifle this type of reform in New Jersey are short-sighted and self-serving. As elected leaders we need to encourage innovative private-sector efforts to expand affordable, quality health care options like this for our communities, not restrict them.

Horizon estimates 250,000 people will choose the OMNIA plan over more expensive, traditional plans that will continue to be offered. It is a choice those consumers should be able to make for themselves.

The OMNIA plan, which follows the model of other existing tiered-health care plans, will have no effect on those currently served by Medicaid and Medicare.

In fact, the plan’s shift to a value-based health care system is a similar model to Medicare’s efforts to reward hospitals based on the quality of care that they provide to patients. This approach incentivizes hospitals and providers to shift their focus from simply filling hospital beds to providing high quality care that serves a patient’s best interest.

Focusing on the quality of care provided, increases attention on keeping patients healthy and reduces costs by curbing re-admissions and eliminating unnecessary tests and treatments. Encouraging patients to utilize the providers that thrive in this environment ensures a greater overall level of care, while also raising the standards and efficiency of the medical community as a whole.

The move to this form of better integrated health care is happening across the country and at hospitals here in New Jersey. Standing in the way of this type of progress would be a failure to realize both the changing landscape around us and the dire need for affordable insurance options.

Similar Posts on

Leave a Comment:

Comment Rules: Please remain civil, stay on topic, and refrain from using foul or abusive language. Posts that violate those rules may be hidden or deleted, and repeated violators may be blocked. To prevent spam, comments with links are automatically filtered.

- Proudly Serving Parts of Monmouth and Ocean Counties -