Senator Anthony M. Bucco and Senator Gerry Cardinale expressed serious concerns during today’s meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee that legislation (S-3218) to restructure Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey could pose a risk for ratepayers and be inequitable for policyholders and property taxpayers.
Sen. Tony Bucco and Sen. Gerry Cardinale expressed concerns during a meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee that legislation to restructure Horizon could pose a risk for ratepayers and be inequitable for policyholders and property taxpayers. (Pixabay)
“I have serious concerns that any failures in the for-profit operations that would be allowed by this legislation would impact Horizon’s ability to meet its core non-profit mission of serving ratepayers who would be stuck with the tab for any losses,” said Bucco (R-25). “I’m also concerned that there are no restrictions on how the State could spend the initial $600 million payment from Horizon or the smaller payments in future years. That money will end up going into the State’s General Fund and it will disappear with nothing to show for it.”
Bucco suggested that payments from Horizon be directed into a special endowment or fund that is dedicated to improving healthcare for underserved communities across New Jersey.
Cardinale questioned how it was determined that $600 million was an appropriate value for the payment and asked if giving that money to the State is equitable.
“It’s not clear how the $600 million figure was determined or if Horizon can pay that amount without impacting its ability to serve its customers during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Cardinale (R-39). “If Horizon has this huge pot of money available, wouldn’t it be fairer to return those excess premiums to the individual policy holders and local governments and property taxpayers who paid more than they should have? Why does the State deserve this money? In one way or another, any excess reserves at Horizon’s disposal should be returned to the ratepayers and taxpayers who paid the premiums.”
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