NM health insurance exchange extends enrollment period

·2 min read

Dec. 24—The open enrollment deadline for Jan. 1 coverage came and went Thursday for the state's Obama-era health insurance exchange for those or are self-employed or are not offered employer insurance plans.

But New Mexico's beWellnm exchange has extended the deadline until Dec. 31 to get coverage starting Jan. 1. People who miss that deadline can enroll until Jan. 15 for coverage to kick in Feb. 1.

"This is one of the benefits of us controlling our own system," beWellnm CEO Jeffery Bustamante said. "We had known we had certain flexibility with our technology. We met in the last week and decided we could offer New Mexicans more time."

BeWellnm previously used the federal marketplace at healthcare.gov, but now people enroll through beWellnm.com.

About 42,000 New Mexicans have signed up through open enrollment for 2022, about the same number enrolled for 2021.

"We feel there are a few thousand more that we can capture," Bustamante said.

The federal American Rescue Plan Act has a provision that drastically reduces the cost of coverage for many through the health insurance exchanges. BeWellnm says 4 in 5 New Mexicans can enroll in a plan for less than $10 a month.

The average premium in 2020 was $188 a month.

"A person making $26,000 a year can enroll in a gold, silver or bronze plan for $19 or less," Bustamante said. "Eighty-nine percent of enrollees are going for gold or silver plans."

The health insurance exchange carriers for 2022 are Molina and Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico, both involved since the beginning; Friday Health Plans and Ambetter (also known as Western Sky Community Care) were new to the exchange; True Health; and Presbyterian Health Plan is returning after an absence since 2016.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting