New Mexico health insurance

January 1, 2010

Q: Our church serves seasonal workers in New Mexico who do not have health insurance. Some are not U.S. citizens. Are any health insurance plans available? 

A: Yes, part time residents and non-citizens are eligible for some types of health insurance coverage.

In New Mexico, the rate of uninsured is about 21% of the state population; significantly higher than the national average. State officials believe that a majority of the uninsured qualify for a cost-subsidized insurance plan that may cost about $35 per person per month at www.insurenewmexico.net. State administrators presume that many people do not know that they are eligible for coverage. Most of those who do not qualify for the cost-subsidized program are eligible for a number of commercial health insurance plans that cost less than $200 per person per month. Some of the short term medical insurance plans are more appropriate for season workers and the supplemental insurance plans are more likely to encourage basic and preventative health care visits because they require no deductible or co-pay. MedSave.com hosts a listing of low cost health insurance plans available in New Mexico. OnlineAdviser service can help with any specific questions on the plans listed.

We have long believed that consumer education campaigns are the most cost-effective method of reducing the number of uninsured in the United States. In New Mexico, however, the issue may be complicated by language and cultural barriers, as well as the requirement to prove citizenship for the cost-subsidized plans. (Commercial health insurance does not require citizenship but is usually more expensive than the state plan).

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