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Eddie Donnelly, the president of the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association. Photo courtesy of YouTube.

Firefighters, IBEW back Horizon reform bill

By David Wildstein, December 09 2020 2:30 pm

The New Jersey State Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association and the IBEW Construction Division have joined a coalition of grassroots organizations and civic groups supporting a proposal to overhaul of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Move Health Care Forward New Jersey announced today.

Legislation currently under consideration would permit the health insurance giant to become a not-for-profit mutual holding company addresses concerns about Horizon changing its corporate structure.

“First responders, by the nature of our jobs, are constantly encountering health-related issues. Moreover, we can’t stay home during a pandemic: when the call comes in, we must respond,” said Ed Donnelly, the president of the state’s largest firefighter union.  “That makes affordable, quality health care vital for us.”

Donnelly said that Horizon faces restrictions that other state health insurance providers do not.

“This is not only unfair for a New Jersey-based company, but also prevents our members from having the kind of health care options they need,” Donnelly said.  “A better Horizon means better health care for the thousands of men and women we represent.”

Also adding the support of the Horizon reform bill: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties; Visiting Nurse Association Health Group; Nassan’s Place, Inc.; Hamilton Area YMCA, GlassRoots; and the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.

They join 30 other groups backing the proposal.

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