BeWellnm, the state’s health insurance marketplace, estimates that over 100,000 New Mexicans will lose Medicaid coverage, and tens of thousands have already been dropped from coverage since May 1.
Those that have been dropped, or aren’t sure if they’ve been dropped, are urged to avoid a lapse in their health coverage by contacting BeWellnm, and signing up for a plan from one of New Mexico’s participating insurance carriers.
Alex Sanchez, director of communications for BeWellnm, said although the public health emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, it is possible to get the same coverage they had under Medicaid.
“The public health emergency has ended. During that time, there were automatic renewals and determinations,” Sanchez said. “Now that it has ended, the automatic renewals have been canceled, so now everyone who was on Medicaid needs to reapply.
“In New Mexico, that’s about 900,000 people that need to fill out an application.”
Early estimates show that out of that 900,000 were that about 100,000 people would come off due to financial eligibility, she said.
“What’s really important is that consumers should have received a turquoise envelope from the Human Services Department,” Sanchez said. “That envelope is really critical to fill out and turn back in. Even if you think you won’t be eligible for Medicaid anymore, we want to ensure we have your updated information. So, that turquoise envelope is really crucial.”
If a person is determined to be no longer eligible due to financial guidelines, they can shop in the BeWellnm marketplace.
“We serve a lot of people who think, ‘Oh, I’m healthy. I don’t need insurance.’ But if something were to happen, it can be financially crippling,” she said. “So we’d rather get you insured. Make sure you’re getting all the same coverage you’d have under Medicaid. And then you’d have that peace of mind that you’re insured.”
Health insurance subsidies are also available through the state program.
“We don’t want people who don’t qualify for Medicaid anymore to feel like private insurance is going to be out of their price range,” Sanchez said. “What’s great about BeWellnm is that it is the only place where you can get health insurance subsidies to reduce the cost of your monthly premium. In fact, 80 percent of our customers pay $10 or less per month for their insurance, and 50 percent receive insurance for $50 or less.”
Zero-dollar plans are available for those that qualify, she said. “If you qualify for a zero-dollar plan, there is no reason not to go through with that, as opposed to not having health insurance at all.
“Our goal is to make sure everyone knows their options and understands that nowadays, with private insurance, there are so many alternatives,” Sanchez said. “BeWellnm is committed to ensuring affordable, reliable coverage, and these are from qualified, trusted health plans.”
New Mexico health insurance companies participating in the state-based marketplace include:
- Ambetter from Western Sky Community Care
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico
- Molina Healthcare
- Presbyterian Health Plan
- BEST Life (dental insurance only)
“If they are coming off of Medicaid, they should be seeing text messages from us, emails from us, postcards, turquoise letters in the mail,” Sanchez said. “We want to avoid a coverage gap, but the only caveat in that is that they have to be closed out of Medicaid to get coverage with us. We don’t want people to end up in the ER and realize they don’t have health care.”
Got to https://www.bewellnm.com/need-help-replacing-medicaid/ for complete details, or call 1-833-862-3935
BeWellnm is holding an in-person event on June 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their offices at 7601 Jefferson Street in Albuquerque.