The Latest on a new wave of Hurricane Sandy coverage
New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie said Tuesday that he plans to sign a bill that would require insurers to cover every eligible Sandy-related illness and injury, even those that are life-threatening.
Christie’s office said he is the first state official to sign the bill.
Christie also said the bill would “provide some relief to the tens of thousands of individuals who will be impacted by the storm.”
The Christie administration’s new law would also require insurers providing coverage to vulnerable people to notify consumers within 24 hours if they fall under the definition of “uninsured.”
The law also would expand the scope of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, which Christie said would include people who were born with severe conditions like asthma or diabetes, and people with a history of medical problems.
Christie said that he would sign the legislation in coming days.
The new law will go into effect in 2019.
Christie and other Republican leaders in the state have called on Democrats to block the bill in the Senate and the House.
Republicans are likely to block it anyway, even if Democrats do so, as the governor has threatened to veto any attempt to pass a bill to create an exemption for the new law.
Democrats have said they will filibuster any bill that seeks to exempt people from the new rules, which will go before the Senate for approval.
Christie has said he will veto any bill to exempt those who can’t afford to pay the premiums that insurers will cover.
The hurricane has claimed more than 2,000 lives and caused more than $11 billion in damage.