On July 29, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed a law that guarantees parents in New Jersey to receive at least one free home visit by a nurse within two weeks of their child’s birth, with the option of two more visits within the baby's first three months. The program, which will be run by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), would also apply to adoptive parents and parents experiencing a stillbirth.
The program will be at no cost to the family. Home visits will feature an evidence-based evaluation of the physical, emotional, and social factors affecting parents and their newborn including physical and mental health wellness checks, breastfeeding support and reproductive planning, environmental assessments of the home, and assessments for social determinants of health, such as food security, transportation access, childcare planning, and employment to ensure families have their needs identified and met.
The program requires DCF to coordinate with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (NJDOBI) to create guidance for state-regulated health insurance plans to cover postpartum home visits. The rules and regulations are required to be finalized within 18 months.
Effective upon the date of enactment, no fully insured individual or group health insurance policy (small and large policies) providing hospital or medical expense benefits shall be delivered, issued, executed, or renewed in New Jersey unless the policy provides benefits to any named insured or other person covered for expenses incurred for services provided under the newborn home nurse visitation program.
For further details, visit: State of New Jersey Legislature, Senate No. 690.