Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 172, allowing any public employee eligible for enrollment into the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) to immediately enroll upon hire, rather than waiting two months. Previously, under Executive Order No. 115, the two-month waiting period was waived only for public employees hired specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Order, which will last for the duration of the Public Health Emergency, applies to any public employee eligible for enrollment into the SHBP who is hired on or after March 9, 2020.
“New Jersey’s skilled workforce is essential to the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and the lack of health benefits coverage for newly hired personnel may be a deterrent to attracting and hiring the key staff necessary to continue our work during the pandemic,” said Murphy. “We must ensure that our workforce has seamless access to health care, including preventive services and medical care relating to COVID-19, throughout this once-in-a-century pandemic.”