New Jersey has passed a law mandoring that health insurance coverage must cover a range of holistic therapies and treatments.
The bill, SB 1313, was introduced Tuesday by state Assemblyman Eric T. McAllister Jr., D-Union, who said the state needs to make health care more affordable.
He said he introduced the legislation after a series of high-profile incidents at hospitals in which patients had their medical care turned away, including an ER nurse who was denied treatment for a brain tumor because she was a “holistic practitioner.”
McAllister said he was concerned about the lack of coverage for holistic care, which includes chiropractic and homeopathy.
He added that there are some people who have access to medical care, but that they can’t afford it and they may not be able to afford the care.
He also said that he’s concerned about people who cannot afford to go to a doctor because they are not able to pay for their insurance, and he called on lawmakers to ensure that those with pre-existing conditions can receive health insurance.
New Jersey has the third-highest number of uninsured people in the nation, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report.
The state also has one of the highest costs for health care, the highest per capita spending and the highest proportion of its residents that are uninsured.
New Brunswick also passed a similar law last year.
The New Jersey Legislature passed the legislation unanimously, with five Republican and three Democrats voting for the bill.
McAllison said he expects to have the bill passed by the end of the month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.