S-3657 is a long sought amendment introduced to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act. The change in the law will allow the State of New Jersey to use one of its strongest anti-fraud tools to protect the state health benefit plan from fraud. Now the IFPA can be used to deter insurance fraud and recover the stolen contributions of taxpayers and public employees. The amendment does this by extending the IFPA’s protections to self-insured plans.
New Jersey’s Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor rightly developed a reputation as one of the most effective anti-fraud agencies in the country, but was sidelined when it came to fighting fraud committed against the New Jersey State Health Benefits Plan. Being self-insured, the NJSHBP was not protected by the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act against those who engage in a pattern of insurance fraud. Now the IFPA’s formidable tools of treble damages and attorneys’ fees can be employed by the State’s Deputy Attorneys General against fraudsters who target the NJSHBP and other self-insured health plans. Making the IFPA apply to employer and union sponsored health benefit plans also helps to reduce the cost of health care. These plans package employer and employee contributions to provide self-insured coverage. The amendment’s inclusion of self-insured plans extends the IFPA’s protections to these private plans as well. Every dollar diverted from legitimate health care costs increases the cost of such plans and makes affordable health benefits coverage harder to accomplish. This amendment supports Governor Murphy’s commitment to reduce the cost of public employee health care benefits by $800 million this year and achieve lasting savings. Any questions or concerns with the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act can be asked to the Woodbury NJ insurance attorneys at Craig, Annin & Baxter Law. Contact our office today to determine your available options.