Healthcare Access

Where can you turn for Healthcare?
Access to healthcare services improves an individual’s physical, social, and mental health, and is indicative of their overall quality of life. Since New Jersey expanded Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the state has provided health and long-term care coverage to more than 1.75 million low-income children, pregnant women, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities. The uninsured rate in New Jersey dropped by 35 percent through the end of 2015, compared to where it was at the end of 2013. Under a new administration, our state’s ACA enrollment efforts are being increased with better advertising and promotion of enrollment periods to build awareness at state agencies that interact with the public. Spreading awareness and educating the residents of New Jersey about healthcare options is of the utmost importance. Opportunity to receive comprehensive, quality health care services is important for promoting and maintaining health, preventing and managing disease, reducing unnecessary disability and premature death, and achieving health equity for all Americans. 

To see if you or a family member qualify for the ACA, you can apply for NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid coverage for adults and children through your County’s Welfare Agency, as well as online at either NJHelps or the Health Insurance Marketplace. An income eligibility chart for ACA coverage can be found here. Open enrollment is slated to begin in Fall 2018 for medical coverage. Outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period, some may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period under a Qualifying Life Event (QLE). This includes:

  • Loss of health coverage
  • Changes in household
  • Changes in residence
  • And other qualifying events 

Click here for more information. 

Cancer Education and Early Detection Screening
As a resident of New Jersey, you have access to the NJ Cancer Education and Early Detection Screening Program (NJCEED), a service of the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services. Early detection is critical to treatment and recovery. For a list of NJCEED facilities and other cancer resources, click here. 

“NJCEED provides comprehensive screening services for breast, cervical, prostate, and colorectal cancer. The services include education, outreach, early detection, case management, screening, tracking, and follow-up.” 

Please note: Persons eligible for these services must be at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level and be uninsured or under-insured. Click here for eligibility guidelines. 

Mobile Mammogram Services

  • Rutgers University S.A.V.E. “Women and Men” Program is a lead agency of New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED)It brings education and screening to Essex County residents who do not have medical insurance.  

Dental
New Jersey Department of Health, Division of Family Health Services highlighting Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provide dental services. This guide is organized by county, and includes hours of operation, ages it services, payment methods, and services. Additionally, this guide includes School-based Dental Units, and Mobile Dental Units. It also provides some additional information including Dental Lifeline Network for residents who are disabled, medically at risk or above the age of 65, children's orthodontics programs, the opportunity for organizations to request oral health presentations in their local schools. Click here for dental clinics in New Jersey:  

Vision
National Researchers say: “50% of all cases of blindness or severe vision loss could have been prevented by early detection of disorders and the appropriate follow-up care.” 

New Jersey Department of Health Services Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers a great service to all New Jersey residents calling: Project BEST: Better Eye-Health Services and Treatment. Project BEST has the express goal of preventing blindness and unnecessary vision loss. They accomplish this goal by offering free vision screenings for both adults and children, specifically to underserved populations including our low-income, elderly, and disabled residents. Services include both mobile units, and fixed sites. Services address preschoolers, children, adults, diabetic eyes, and migrant workers. People found to have conditions are referred, and may qualify for other services under the commission. Project BEST also provides follow-up services to individuals who need further eye evaluations or eye care services, and who have no health insurance, and do not qualify for other state programs. For most up-to-date eye screening locations organized by county with information on hours, location, and contact information included, click here

For more information about preventing vision loss, call Elizabeth DeShields, Manager of Project BEST at 862-754-5406 or e-mail [email protected] To schedule an eye screening please contact: Sunil Parikh at 973-648-7400, e-mail at [email protected] or fax at (973) 648-4799. 

Addiction Services
Heroin killed more than 10 out of every 100,000 people in New Jersey in 2016, compared to slightly more than 4 in the rest of the country. In order to address the emerging health crisis ReachNJ was created as a resource for individuals and communities to find help for addiction. It provides New Jersey residents with information and locations of recovery centers and support groups for those that are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. As well as support for parents and families that are affected by a loved one’s addiction.

More information can be found here. The website also includes a helpline, call 1-844-ReachNJ (1-844-732-2465). It provides an individualized assessment of callers’ needs focused on addiction and begins the process for those seeking help. 

Additional Healthcare Resources

NJ ResourceNet provides a wide range of information about support, resources, and services for families in New Jersey, organized by each county. Families can find specific recreational activities, health providers, support groups, and events in their areas.

New Jersey HealthLink is the nation’s most comprehensive healthcare consumer information website serving seniors, families, children and healthcare professionals. New Jersey HealthLink will make New Jersey a pioneer in providing instant-access to valuable healthcare information over the World Wide Web. For each health related program, you will find details about services and eligibility, as well as contact names and phone numbers – all the information you need in a single-page printable format. When looking for health service on this site, you are provided a variety of options. You may search with the A-to-Z list, the search engine, or by general topic area. 

The Rutgers Helps NJ Resource Guide is a collaborative effort between the Rutgers University School of Law—Newark and Rutgers University School of Social Work. The website is powered by Pro Bono Net and funded by the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. This website is designed to assist advocates, professionals and community members in navigating the complex array of federal, state, and local resources and agencies available to the public. It serves as a one-stop shop for social, legal, health-related and other services. Resources and agencies are categorized by topic area. 

Family Success Centers (FSC) are warm and welcoming, neighborhood-based gathering places that create home-like environments for community residents with the goal of strengthening families, providing family support, and the prevention of child abuse and neglect. There is at least one FSC in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties. FSCs exist to assist families by providing free and voluntary prevention services that encourage family interaction, through workshops, activities, groups and linkages to services. Key features to FSCs include providing access to information on child, maternal and family health services as well as connecting those in need to off-site public and private resources.