Spotlight on Affordable Care Act in NJ

New Jerseyans confused about the Affordable Care Act have reason to celebrate.

NJ Spotlight debuted a new page on January 22, devoted entirely to the Affordable Care Act and its impact and implementation in the state. The page was introduced with the tag, “Your source for ACA news, analysis, discussion, expert opinion, and events.”

“We’ve done other special pages maybe not as in depth or as broad, “explains NJ Spotlight founder and managing editor Lee Keough. “Our goal is to do deep dives into issues, and the ACA is obviously a major issue for New Jersey.”

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The page features in-depth stories by NJ Spotlight writers, news briefs, event listings, white papers, infographics, forums, and resources such as NJ Spotlight’s “Explainers” on the ACA, and links on how to apply for coverage, a list of NJ insurers, and help with applications.

The page is funded by The Nicholson Foundation and The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey.

Since its founding in 2009, NJSpotlight has become a resource for comprehensive in-depth, issue-oriented reporting throughout the state, with stories regularly reposted by The Philadelphia Inquirer, NewsWorks and others. The ACA page follows on NJ Spotlight’s mission, said Keough.

“We thought this would be a good idea because there is so much confusion and need for good information.” Keough notes that thus far the public — and much of the media — have been focused on the roll-out of exchanges and the sign-up for insurance. But the ACA is a much more far-reaching and complicated law than that.

“There is lot more to write about,” said Keough. “Regulations. It changes the way health care is delivered. Vision plans. It just goes on and on and on.” Keough points to a story posted January 22 on the law’s impact on dental coverage for children.

Keough hopes to solicit input from the public as well as health care professionals. “We’re looking for suggestions for stories and videos. We’re looking for people to submit news and calendar events.”

New to the page and NJSpotlight are interactive forums that are being posted on the ACA page. “A key objective of ours is to create a place for people to talk and get information.” Keough says that NJ Spotlight has experts lined up to participate in the forums, including Joel Cantor from Rutgers, and will be using social media to encourage the public and health care professionals to participate.

“This is the newest and most challenging part,” said Keough. “We’ve got to find people who really care about this issue to participate.”


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