NJ Healthcare Systems Help Furloughed Fed Employees

Two New Jersey healthcare systems have joined the effort to help federal employees cope with the ongoing government shutdown.

Hackensack Meridian Health announced that it will waive co-pays and deductibles for emergency visits at all network hospitals and urgent care centers for furloughed federal employees and their insured family members.

“We have seen the financial impact the federal government shut down has had on many families and we want to ensure that people will receive the care they need without worrying about the cost,” said Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health.

Meanwhile, Cooper University Health Care announced it is offering furloughed federal government employees, and their immediate family members, access to the health system’s primary care providers within 24-hours of their call for an appointment during the federal government shutdown. Cooper has set up a dedicated phone number, 856.536.1300, for furloughed federal employees to call to make an appointment with a Cooper provider, or they can visit the health system’s website at

“We understand how stressful this time can be for furloughed federal employees and we wanted to do something to assist them and make it easier for them take care of their health during the shutdown,” said Anthony Mazzarelli, co-president of Cooper University Health Care. “Cooper has a growing network of primary care providers who will be available for federal employees and their families to get their annual physical or treat any other health care need.”

Kevin O’Dowd, co-president of Cooper University Health Care, a former federal employee who spent more than seven years with the Department of Justice, noted that, “By offering furloughed federal employees access to health care appointments within 24-hours, our hope is to help them make good use of this time to take care of their important health needs such as a physical or flu shot that has been difficult to fit into their schedule. We want to help them to focus on their health.”

The federal government shutdown, the longest in the nation’s history, impacts 800,000 federal employees, including 5,000 New Jersey residents.

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