Health insurance exchange moves a step forward in New Mexico

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Capital Building Santa Fe New Mexico health insuranceHealth insurance plans see progress

New Mexico is moving one step closer to establishing a state-run health insurance exchange. The effort has received support from both Democrats and Republicans who consider the state’s running its own health insurance exchange could be in the best interests of New Mexico residents. A proposal for the exchange has was the approval of state lawmakers and is now on track to form an operational health insurance exchange that could begin selling policies by October of this year, complying with federal regulations outlined in the Affordable Care Act.

State aims to operate its own health insurance exchange

According to the proposal, the state will operate and regulate its own health insurance exchange. The exchange will sell policies that are provided by private insurance companies working in New Mexico. Many of these policies will be categorized in tiers based on the benefits they provide, but all policies must meet minimum coverage requirements in order to be sold through the exchange. Because the state aims to operate its own exchange, it must also bear much of the financial burden associated with its establishment, though this burden will be offset by grants provided by the federal government.

More people expected to find coverage through the exchange

State officials believe that more than 200,000 people will be able to purchase health insurance coverage through the exchange over the coming years. While the proposed health insurance exchange has won approval this week, the proposal has faced turbulence in the political world in the past. Last month, the concept of a health insurance exchange was rejected due to concerns regarding cost. The most recent proposal represents a compromise, bridging the gap between state lawmakers and providing a new approach on the issue of the health insurance exchange.

Proposal sets new rules for the governance of the exchange

Per the proposal, the exchange will be governed by a board of 13 members, of whom insurance industry executives, New Mexico lawmakers, and the state’s Superintendent of Insurance will be members. These members will not have the authority to exclude health insurance policies from being offered through the exchange if they can meet the standards of the program and the federal health care law. Lawmakers expect that this will help alleviate concerns that certain board members with ties to insurance companies would keep the competitors of these companies out of the exchange.

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