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Governor Murphy Signs Law to Change Medicaid Approval to Help Seniors Stay Home


AARP New Jersey applauds Governor Murphy and the NJ Legislature for creating more choices that empower seniors to age in their homes

TRENTON, N.J. (Jan. 16, 2024) - AARP New Jersey Director of Advocacy, Evelyn Liebman, provided the following statement:

“We applaud Governor Phil Murphy for signing bipartisan legislation (S3495/A4049) today that will change Medicaid’s eligibility process, so seniors aren’t forced into nursing homes while waiting for approval.

“Currently, when health issues arise, Medicaid approval takes too long – often months – for seniors who need services at home. Most seniors want to age in their own homes, but they cannot afford to wait for these services and are forced into nursing homes.

“Medicaid’s current application process does not account for life’s realities, like a loved one’s unexpected hospitalization or rapid health deterioration. The law enacted today speeds up the Medicaid application process so seniors who are likely to qualify for Medicaid will no longer have to wait for extended periods of time and can begin receiving services in their homes when they need it.

“NJ FamilyCare will use basic financial information and screening tools to determine that someone is eligible so services can begin, instead of seniors waiting for months for approval.

“Modernizing the Medicaid eligibility process not only allows older adults to age in their homes, but it is estimated to save the state $24 million to $99.5 million, according to the NJ Office of Legislative Services, because home care is less expensive than taxpayer-funded nursing home care.

“AARP New Jersey applauds Governor Murphy, Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin for their leadership and all NJ lawmakers for passing and enacting this legislation. We commend Senators Joe Vitale and Gordon Johnson and Assembly Members Angela McKnight, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Daniel Benson, along with the bill’s many co-sponsors for leading the effort to modernize Medicaid’s eligibility rules.

“This is an important step toward transforming our long-term care system and providing services at home – where seniors want to be. We look forward to working with the Governor and his Administration on the implementation of this important law.”


About AARP New Jersey
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP New Jersey educates and advocates on behalf of those 50 and older on issues that are important to them, their families and to all Garden State residents. The organization works to strengthen New Jersey communities with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more, visit or follow @AARPNJ on social media.

About AARP New Jersey
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