Gov. Phil Murphy intends to create a new state agency designed to reduce health care costs and maintain an affordable system of insurance for consumers.
In his state of the state message he is scheduled to deliver later on Jan. 14, Murphy will say he is establishing an Office of Health Care Accountability and Transparency in the Governor’s Office “to work across state agencies and lead critical efforts to reduce consumer health care costs, make insurance more affordable, and improve price transparency,” according to an excerpt of the text provided to NJBIZ.
The governor will also direct the Department of Banking and Insurance to work with the new agency to monitor health care costs paid by residents.
“Armed with this data, we will make smart decisions to limit cost increases and set new standards for quality and transparency,” the text reads.
Cathy Bennett, president and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association said in a statement that members of the organization share the goal of making health care more affordable. “We are very interested to learn more about the governor’s proposal and be part of a constructive dialogue,” Bennett said. “Transparency is a key part of affordability, and that is a conversation that also must include insurance companies, pharma, tech companies, employers, community groups and others.”
Murphy and the Legislature have taken several steps toward providing health insurance to state residents outside of employer plans. The most prominent move was to establish a state-based insurance exchange that will begin operating independently of the federal program in 2021.
This article was updated at 4:45 p.m. EST on Jan. 14, 2020 to include a statement from NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett.