According to state officials, following the questioning of the health insurance company quality oversights last year in New Mexico, that state is now concentrating on boosting the reviews to the requests for rate hikes by pumping $3 million in grant money into the effort.
Furthermore, an ombudsman has been employed at the Public Regulation Commission, by the state insurance regulators in order to help consumers to better understand the often complicated health insurance ecosystem, using an additional federal grant of over $220,000.
Moreover, deputy superintendent of insurance, Craig Dunbar, said that the federal grant will also provide funding for the ombudsman to establish a 24-hour consumer hotline that will help people who require assistance in pursuing health insurance issues, and to hire an assistant.
Senator Cisco McSorley (D-Albuquerque) said that “This is good news.”
The grant worth $3 million was provided by the United States Health and Human Services Department and will be given to the state in increments of $1 million, on an annual basis. It will function to supplement a previous grant of $1 million that was given to the New Mexico Insurance Division by the federal government last year for the specific purpose of improving the state rate review.
This additional grant money is being received almost a year and a half after the health insurance regulators in New Mexico faced significant scrutiny from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as well as the public.
The $3 million grant will be providing the money needed to give the analytical capabilities of the Insurance Division some much needed improvements, as well as to pay for the actuarial firm which will required to assist in the filings with vet health insurers.