Adding RWJBarnabas to plan’s Tier 1 fuels AmeriHealth N.J. expansion

Medical and health insurance claim form with stethoscope on clipboard

AmeriHealth New Jersey’s announced expansion into six new counties is the result of adding RWJBarnabas Health — the state’s largest health system — to Tier 1 in its AmeriHealth Advantage plan.

The insurer will now cover lives in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset and Union counties as part of the plan.

“Welcoming RWJBarnabas Health, one of the most comprehensive health systems in the state, is a significant enhancement to our network,” said Ken Kobylowski, senior vice president of provider contracting and network operations. “This new partnership nearly doubles the county reach of AmeriHealth Advantage, which has consistently been our most popular offering.”

The insurer’s low-cost plan became the first tiered plan in the state in 2013. In addition to the Advantage plan, AmeriHealth now covers lives in 20 of the state’s 21 counties by adding RWJBH to the Tier 1 Advantage plan.

“RWJBarnabas Health is pleased to join Tier 1 in AmeriHealth Advantage, providing its members with increased opportunities to receive outstanding care at our leading medical centers and wide range of ancillary facilities,” stated John Doll, chief financial officer, RWJBarnabas Health. “Our 9,000 physicians and 33,000 employees are committed to providing the highest quality care to our patients, and we look forward to offering the finest care to all AmeriHealth members.”

AmeriHealth has recently seen a growth in membership, as did other insurers, with the liquidation of the short-lived insurance co-op Health Republic of New Jersey.

A majority of the enrollment growth was in silver plans, which stand to be affected by President Donald Trump’s latest executive order targeting the Affordable Care Act.

When asked whether or not this will affect premiums for those plans, AmeriHealth said it was anticipating the administration’s action.

“AmeriHealth New Jersey anticipated the impact of cost-sharing reductions going away when we finalized our rates for 2018, as per final guidance from (the Department of Banking and Insurance),” according to an emailed statement.