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Officials Criticize Horizon Blue Cross Plan to Exclude Trenton Hospitals from Top Insurance Coverage

https://vimeo.com/139632407

New Jersey State Assembly members Reed Gusciora and Elizabeth Maher Muoio have decried a plan by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield  to exclude urban hospitals — including both hospitals in Trenton — from premier insurance coverage.

Horizon plans to only provide select coverage for its insurance carriers at 22 state hospitals, leaving customers with higher premiums and deductibles if they use hospital services not designated “Tier 1” by Horizon.

Stressing the need to put patients over profits, Gusciora, Muoio, Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson and Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes have called on the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance to place a hold on Horizon’s plans.

“We are disappointed and concerned that Horizon took this unilateral action without any public airing or transparency,” said Gusciora (D–Mercer/Hunterdon). “If Horizon truly operates in the public interest, it should go back to the drawing room and negotiate in good faith with all hospitals in the state, and not just a chosen few.”

St. Francis Medical Center and Capital Health would no longer be considered Tier 1 hospitals, meaning patients who use those facilities would face higher dedudtibles and caps on out of pocket expenses.

Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) said officials are concerned about insured individuals in the capital city area having readily affordable access to quality health care.

“Horizon has left the two capital city hospitals on the cutting room floor.  This will have a detrimental effect on the financial stability of the two largest non-governmental entities in the city.”

Executive Brian M. Hughes, Trenton Mayor Eric E. Jackson, Capital Health President & CEO Dr. Al Maghazehe and St. Francis Medical Center Chief Administrative Office Vince Costantino were among the attendees at a press conference to draw attention to the issue this afternoon. The full press conference can be viewed by clicking on the video above.

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Written by Krystal Knapp