Open enrollment for New Mexico’s healthcare marketplace, beWellnm, has begun, and CEO Jeffery Bustamante says it’s crucial that as many people as possible participate, now that it has transitioned from a federally supported state-based exchange to a fully state-run program.

The enrollment period kicked off Monday and ends January 15, a much longer period than in previous years.

“The extended deadline serves all the people who want coverage at the beginning of the year, but also meets the needs of folks who want a little longer to assess their financial situation,” Bustamante said during an online press conference Monday.

BeWellnm is the state’s official health insurance exchange, helping individuals, as well as small businesses, get access to affordable health care.

In years past, the exchange used the federal enrollment platform but as of Monday, the exchange is using its own state-run enrollment platform.

Maureen Manring, director of communication and outreach, said it was important to sign up as early as possible.

“We’re excited to give New Mexicans a little longer to make that decision,” Manring said.

But, she said, to get coverage that starts on Jan. 1, applications need to be completed earlier and premiums paid by Dec. 23.

Manring added that beWellnm participants need to reconfirm their accounts and reassess their coverage during open enrollment.

“It’s really important for the consumers who were on to understand that they have to go to beWellnm for 2022 coverage,” she said.

Bustamante cautioned that with the switch from to, enrollees who don’t confirm their account during open enrollment run the risk of losing their coverage, although the agency wants to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“Let’s say somebody gets to January, hasn’t reconfirmed all of that,” Bustamante said. “Well, they’re going to be hearing from us to make sure that they do connect and get that coverage.” Through beWellnm, plans are available to all New Mexicans who don’t get insurance through an employer, Medicare or Medicaid, and the time to reenroll is now, he said.

Enrollment takes place at

People can get started through an in-person event, a virtual event or over the phone.

BeWellnm can be reached by phone at 833-ToBeWell.