New Mexico Health Insurance
In response to rising health care costs and a high percentage of uninsured Americans, President Barack Obama passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010. Recently, an important part of the law, the “individual mandate,” went into effect.
It requires you to buy health insurance if coverage is not available through an employer — or pay a tax penalty. Additionally, all businesses with more than 50 employees must offer insurance to their workers.
Some states, including New Mexico, have expanded Medicaid to provide health care to low-income families who might not otherwise afford insurance. This change in Medicaid eligibility has made health care available to 170,000 previously uninsured New Mexico residents.
You can shop for ACA-compliant New Mexico health insurance plans on the state’s marketplace.
What is a health insurance marketplace?
A health insurance marketplace, or exchange, is a site where residents can shop for individual and family health plans. A federal exchange exists at HealthCare.gov, and some states chose to establish their own exchanges as well. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2013, Gov. Susana Martinez announced New Mexico would establish its own exchange. New Mexico’s insurance marketplace is called Be Well NM, and people can purchase policies through the website or over the phone.
Insurance companies are no longer able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and all plans are now grouped into standardized classifications to make comparisons between companies more simple.
To use the exchange, you’ll need to sign up for the site or contact a representative over the phone. From there, you’ll answer a few questions about your income, family size and lifestyle. These questions will be used to match you with the best New Mexico health insurance plans to suit your needs and budget.
The information will also be used to determine whether you qualify for an insurance subsidy or Medicaid.
Do I qualify for a health insurance subsidy in New Mexico?
To offset the cost of health insurance, the government offers a tax credit in the form of a subsidy to individuals with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. This translates to between $11,490 and $45,960 for an individual and between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four. The amount of the subsidy is determined largely by your income. People with higher incomes will receive a smaller subsidy.
Health insurance companies participating in New Mexico’s insurance exchange
These companies provide ACA-compliant plans through New Mexico’s health insurance exchange:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Lovelace Health System
- Molina Healthcare of New Mexico
- New Mexico Health Connections
- Presbyterian Health Plan
Health care for low-income New Mexico families
New Mexico chose to expand Medicaid coverage to provide health care to low-income individuals and families. Under the new law, an adult with a monthly income below $1,273 can obtain Medicaid. A child whose parents earn less than $2,873 per month can receive assistance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program called MexiKids or MexiTeens. You can apply for Medicaid through the state health insurance exchange.
New Mexico health and coverage statistics
New Mexico population (2013): 2,085,287
Population 65 and older (2012): 14.1 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 78.4 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 423,000
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 304,500
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 425,900
Overall state health ranking: 32
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
New Mexico health insurance resources
New Mexico Department of Health: http://nmhealth.org/
Be Well New Mexico: http://bewellnm.com/
Office of the Superintendent of Insurance: http://www.osi.state.nm.us/
New Mexico State Agency of Aging: http://www.nmaging.state.nm.us/
New MexiKids and New MexiTeens: https://www.insurekidsnow.gov/
Kaiser Family Foundation: http://kff.org/tag/new-mexico/