AtlantiCare Community Healthcare Access Program to Benefit Displaced Casino Workers, Community

AtlantiCare President and CEO David Tilton recently shared details of the AtlantiCare Community Healthcare Access Program – or AtlantiCare CHAP. Funded by the AtlantiCare Foundation, the program is intended to assist residents of Atlantic, Cape May and southern Ocean counties who recently lost jobs at Atlantic City casinos. Director, Division of Health Facilities Evaluation and Licensing, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Stefanie Mozgai, and Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian joined Tilton for the announcement at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Atlantic City Campus, Atlantic City.

“AtlantiCare has served our community since 1898,” said Tilton. “Sometimes it takes more than medicine to help us reach our vision of building healthy communities. True to our mission of delivering health and healing for all people, we evaluated how best to help our friends, family members and neighbors who have been impacted by the recent casino closures. That is why we have initiated AtlantiCare CHAP.”

AtlantiCare CHAP highlights

For those who qualify, the program includes education, counseling and assistance around health insurance coverage and options; health insurance premium subsidy support; and a resolution for outstanding medical bills for services received from AtlantiCare before September 30th of this year. AtlantiCare will also make $500,000 in donations to charities that support residents in AtlantiCare’s service area, in addition to the nearly $400,000 in community benefit donations it makes annually.

“AtlantiCare’s Community Healthcare Access Program will serve as a vital lifeline to thousands of workers and their families,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd. “AtlantiCare is a treasured asset in its community–not only caring for patients but also caring for the greater needs of its community.”

“I applaud AtlantiCare for caring about those individuals who lost their jobs due to the recent closings of casinos,” said Atlantic City Mayor Guardian. “It’s a tough time for us who live in South Jersey, but when organizations like AtlantiCare step up to do what they can to ease the pain, we must thank them.  Thank you, AtlantiCare.”

AtlantiCare CHAP specifics

AtlantiCare CHAP support will be available to any resident of AtlantiCare’s service area, defined as Atlantic, Cape May, and southern Ocean counties, who was laid off within 60 days (pre and post) of the closing of The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, Revel Casino Hotel, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, or Showboat Atlantic City, who meets financial need criteria (household income below 400% of the federal poverty level) and does not have access to health insurance coverage or benefits/stipends. AtlantiCare is also extending support to employees of businesses that operated within any one or all of the above casinos. Dependents of eligible participants who are permanent residents in AtlantiCare’s service area and who are not covered by any other health plan or benefit/stipend are also eligible.

  • The AtlantiCare Access Center will schedule individual, private appointments with AtlantiCare certified financial counselors, who will provide education about health insurance coverage options and assist residents who qualify in enrolling in NJ FamilyCare, or health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Counseling sessions will likely last 45 minutes to an hour. Appointments will be at AtlantiCare locations in Atlantic City, Galloway and Egg Harbor Township, and additional locations as needed. Counselors will be available for follow-up questions and assistance. AtlantiCare has posted to its YouTube page abbreviated video examples of what a private counseling session might be like in English and Spanish. AtlantiCare has long assisted those who qualify in getting coverage. As a Certified Application Counselor Organization, AtlantiCare is certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to assist people with the Health Insurance Marketplace application process. AtlantiCare is increasing awareness about the service and partnering with the New Jersey Hospital Association to add additional counseling during this transition period.
  • AtlantiCare will cover up to 75 percent of the federally unsubsidized Silver Plan premium (capped at $1,200 per individual covered under the plan) available through the Health Insurance Marketplace for eligible participants. Participants must not be eligible for other state-sponsored insurance programs, such as NJ FamilyCare, which includes Medicaid, or any other health insurance benefit/stipend, including through a spouse, partner, parent, or employer/union. This support would continue for up to 12 months, as the participant remains eligible for assistance and remains current with his or her portion of the premium.
  • AtlantiCare CHAP financial counselors will work to resolve outstanding bills or patient balances of eligible displaced casino employees for healthcare services received from AtlantiCare prior to September 30, 2014.
  • AtlantiCare will offer a free Flu vaccination to participants.
  • AtlantiCare will also identify options for those who do not qualify for AtlantiCare CHAP assistance.

“AtlantiCare contributes nearly $400,000 to charitable organizations that share its vision of building healthy communities,” said Tilton. “This year, through the AtlantiCare CHAP program, the AtlantiCare will make a special corporate donation of an additional $500,000 to local charities that are likely to see increased demand for service as a result of these economic challenges our region is facing in light of the casino closures,” said Tilton.

The charities and amounts Tilton detailed are:

  • Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch – $225,000
  • United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey – $150,000
  • Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City – $50,000
  • Atlantic County Women’s Center – $25,000
  • Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties – $25,000
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Atlantic and Cape May Counties – $25,000

“As the state’s largest charitable provider of food for the hungry, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey is deeply grateful for this very generous gift to support our food distribution programs,” said Evelyn Benton, executive director, Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, “It will go a long way in helping us respond to both the immediate and long-term needs of those affected by the casino crisis.” Benton was among many representatives of the above charities who attended the announcement.

“As leaders in our region and of southeastern New Jersey’s largest healthcare provider, we believe we can make a difference one person at a time – especially for those who lost health insurance coverage due to the recent closures,” said Tilton. “It is our hope that AtlantiCare will inspire others to give what they can to local community charities so they are able to help our friends and neighbors.”

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