Why NM Legislators Should Vote for HB 416 / SB 405
Summary: The Medicaid Buy-In Act would provide greater access to quality, affordable healthcare by implementing a program to allow New Mexicans not currently eligible for Medicaid, Medicare, or Affordable Care Act Subsidies to pay monthly premiums to “buy in” to Medicaid, by January 2021.
History: In 2018, the NM legislature passed SM 3 and HM 9, tasking the Legislative Health & Human Services Committee with a study of Medicaid buy-in options for New Mexico residents. Phase 1 of that study concluded that “A Medicaid buy-in holds promise for meeting New Mexico’s goals of providing access to affordable coverage to state residents at every income level, while ensuring financial stability for New Mexico providers and offering a more streamlined health coverage continuum in the state.” Phase 2 is still underway.
Why This Bill Is Good for NM
- 190,000 New Mexicans do not have healthcare coverage and are not able to afford even basic, preventive care. Our poorest, most underserved communities would gain much-needed affordable access to healthcare.
- A 2018 legislative study found that Medicaid Buy-In would help close a gap in coverage for patients who make too much to sign up for Medicaid but too little to afford other insurance.
- Public polls found that when it comes to health care, New Mexicans say their top concern is cost.
- Medical debt is a major obstacle for New Mexicans to gain financial security and build assets. In 2015, over $80 million in patient debt to hospitals was sent to collection agencies.
- 74% of New Mexicans, regardless of political party, support Medicaid Buy-In.
- By offering a low-cost option, the Medicaid Buy-In Act would expand coverage and reduce health system costs by providing timely and preventive care before medical conditions worsen and turn into costly emergencies.
- This bill helps providers and hospitals by covering more patients; it helps businesses by opening up affordable coverage for employers and workers; it ensures insurance companies direct patient dollars to medical care.
- Congressman Ben Ray Luján supports the bill, saying “HB416 is not only good for New Mexico, it raises the bar for the rest of the country. Introducing an option for individuals and families to purchase Medicaid will increase competition, give consumers choices, and provide an affordable coverage option for people struggling to pay premiums.”
- The counties of McKinley, Bernalillo, and Doña Ana; the cities of Anthony, Sunland Park, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces; and the All Pueblo Council of Governors have passed resolutions supporting New Mexico’s exploration of a Medicaid buy-in plan.
- New Mexico Together for Healthcare
- Health Action New Mexico
- New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty
- Strong Families New Mexico
- Partnership for Community Action
- Equality New Mexico
- Catholic Charities New Mexico
- Indigenous Women Rising
- New Mexico Voices for Children
- And 15 other organizations across the state