TRENTON, NJ – Senate Health Chair Joseph F. Vitale and Senate Commerce Chair Nia H. Gill today announced plans to hold a joint hearing of their respective committees on the recently-announced OMNIA Health Alliance formed by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey in the coming weeks.
Horizon, New Jersey’s largest health insurer, last week announced an alliance with some of the largest health care providers in the state and the planned rollout of a new Tiered Network Plan for members. The company reportedly will make details of the plans public next month.
“There are many unanswered questions about the alliance formed by Horizon with some of the major hospital systems in the state. Consumers deserve clear answers about how this new program will affect their access to care, and critically important safety net health care providers deserve to know how this will impact their ability to serve patients,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex). “We want to hear directly from Horizon about how the alliance was developed and get a full understanding of this newly-announced overhaul of their health plans. We also want to hear from healthcare providers about the potential impact such a major shift could have on their long-term viability. The fact is that we are open to innovation that will reduce health care costs, but we have to make sure that the changes undertaken do not prove detrimental to patients or hospitals, especially those in medically underserved communities, operating throughout the state.”
“Horizon is New Jersey’s largest insurer and any dramatic shift in plans will have a broad impact on our state. With the rollout of these new tiered plans expected next month, it is critical that we closely examine how this will affect hospitals, both in and outside of Horizon’s new alliance, as well as consumers,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex/Passaic). “It is also important for consumers to learn what kind of coverage they should expect from Horizon in future years and whether this is a first step in a transition away from their currently offered plans. I look forward to hearing from Horizon on the details of this new alliance and its health care plans, as well as from stakeholders who may be affected by the process.”
Additional hearing details will be announced in the coming weeks.