Background Information on NJ FamilyCare

The NJ FamilyCare program began as Medicaid in the 1960s for very low income people and grew incrementally to include various age/eligibility categories and rules.

In 1998, there was a national, federally- funded movement to authorize states to provide health insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for children whose family income made them ineligible for Medicaid. Each state was given flexibility to design their program.

In the year 2000, under a separate request to the federal government, New Jersey was given permission to use CHIP federal funds to also cover certain parents. At that time, New Jersey named their program NJ FamilyCare which included parents eligible for NJ FamilyCare using CHIP funds, pregnant women, as well as children.

Federal Rule Expands Medicaid

A federal health rule signed into law in 2010 decreased the number of uninsured Americans by allowing expanded eligibility for Medicaid or by providing affordable health insurance options through the federal health insurance Marketplace. NJ expanded Medicaid eligibility to all people earning income below 133% Federal Poverty Level, including single adults or childless couples. The federal law also allows for a small income disregard which could, in some cases, increase those income limits. For more information on other insurance affordability programs visit

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