Siekerka Blasts Christie’s Plan for Horizon

Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business Industry Association, today issued a forceful statement against Governor Chris Christie’s Horizon BCBSNJ Plan.

“The New Jersey Business & Industry Association opposes Governor Christie’s plan to force Horizon BCBSNJ to draw down capital reserves meant for the protection of its 3.8 million policyholders so that the state can use up to $300 million a year for charity care and Medicaid,” Siekerka said in a statement.

“Horizon’s capital reserves are the monies New Jersey businesses and their employees have paid in premiums,” she added. “These funds serve as a safeguard against unexpected increases in future healthcare claims and help maintain price stability for policyholders. Requiring Horizon to redirect hundreds of millions of dollars for other state purposes, no matter how well-intentioned, is imprudent, especially given the uncertainty in the health insurance market amid the ongoing discussions in Washington, D.C. about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

“NJBIA believes it would be improper for the state to meddle with the composition of a nonprofit company’s board or use legislation to force Horizon BCBSNJ to take action that puts policyholders at risk of higher premiums and jeopardizes the insurer’s ability to pay claims.”

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